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Fascial Distortion Model

Revolutionizing the World of Pain Relief

FDM - The Fascial Distortion Model is the best method for identifying and treating your pain, whether it was caused by an accidents or overuse injury.  It should be a main staple found in every physical therapy clinic in Provo.  Fascia can be the cause of your low back pain, neck pain, and all other areas, and when treated properly can lead to faster recovery.  It is the perfect model to follow for anyone using manual therapy to help patients return to an active life.

FDM Trigger Band


A new and effective method of pain therapy!

In 1991 an osteopathic physician specializing in emergency medicine, Dr. Stephen Typaldos D.O., discovered regularly recurring patterns in the pain descriptions of his patients.  Upon these he built up a novel concept of diagnosis which is based on body language (usually hand gestures) and the description of symptoms by his patients.

Fascial Distortion Model Provider in Provo


Dr. Howard Knudsen received his Fascial Distortion Model International Certificate in March of 2017. He has had over 250 hours of fascial distortion model courses through the European Fascial Distortion Model Association, the American Fascial Distortion Model Association, and an FDM training group associated with the Typaldos family.  He received FDM training in Toronto, Poland, San Jose, Boise, Maui, San Diego, Cleveland, and Amsterdam.  He also attended the World Congress of FDM in San Antonio.

Dr. Chris Knudsen has been using the Fascial Distortion Model in practice since 2016 under the mentorship of Dr. Howard Knudsen.  Dr. Chris Knudsen has had over 80 hours of fascial distortion model courses from the FDM Academy in Pheonix, Provo, Cleveland, and San Diego, taught by the President of the AFDMA, Todd A. Capistrant, DO, MHA.

Fascial Distortion Model 3

In FDM, the patient is the expert of his or her body.

Dr. Howard Knudsen: "For me as therapist, it was an unbelievable and educational experience when I was allowed to learn that the patient himself was the expert for a successful treatment of his ailments.  Through his body language and the exact description of his symptoms, he shows the therapist the right choice of methods for the treatment.  He becomes a “compass” for the therapist to localize the respective fascial distortions to be able to treat them.  The patient takes part in the treatment and can trust his own perceptions.  In FDM only the patient is right!"


Why Does It Hurt, a book by Todd Capastrnadt, DO presents a whole new viewpoint on the way our bodies work using FDM, the Fascial Distortion Model,. Fascia is the fibrous connective tissue that permeates our bodies and holds everything together. Distorted fascia is often the cause of pain that may not respond to traditional treatments of physical therapy or anti-inflammatory drugs. Thanks to FDM, patients stooped over from chronic back pain now stand straight, and athletes sidelined with sprains quickly return to the game and perform as if nothing happened.

FDM knee pain

FIND IT and Fix it Fast!

FDM is presently the most effective manual therapy for pain relief.  By means of body language and pain description the therapist is immediately in the position to pinpoint the problem and help the patient with manual techniques.  FDM is especially suitable for pain within the musculoskeletal system. Now, many "known" therapy-resistant conditions (chronic pain patients) can be successfully treated with FDM.  Due to the quick therapy success, FDM has become very popular among athletes.  Presently FDM is the fastest growing form of therapy in Europe.

The Fascial Distortion Model allows precise and effective treatment of pain found in the musculoskeletal system.  FDM enjoys greater and greater popularity because of the fast and long-term treatment success.  The individualized diagnosis allows a focused and efficient treatment.  The immediate removal of the so called distortion leads to minimal absence from work or sports and reduced regeneration time.  So it`s possible that a specific part of your back pain disappears after one treatment.  This allows us to address the underlying muscle weakness for a long-term fix to your problem.

Research studies about the Fascial Distortion Model demonstrate that "FDM appears to be effective with regard to pain relief and functional improvement for LBP." 

FDM Fascia Trigger Band

What is the Fascial Distortion Model?

The term "Fascial Distortion Model (FDM)“ is a combination of 3 separate words:

Fascia is connective tissue.  According to the FDM, they are the key to diagnosing and treating a variety of physical ailments.  Today, medical science acknowledges the importance of fascia in the human body, a fact backed up by a growing number of scientific studies into the FDM therapy model.


Distortions are twists, wrinkles, entrapments, deformations or dislocations of fascia.  Each FDM therapy session aims to correct these distortions with specific techniques of manual therapy.  Once corrected, a considerable or complete reduction of pain will be noticeable to the patient.


FDM is a clinical model. Through the collection of empirical data, Stephen Typaldos, D.O., FDM’s creator, developed a model representing the correlation of specific fascial distortions, traditional diagnoses and effective treatment options.  Physicians and physical therapists practicing FDM are utilizing the Fascial Distortion Model in order to arrive at a precise individual diagnosis and to choose a specific treatment.

Dr. Knudsen is a Fascial Distortion Model Provider.  He was introduced to FDM through Matt Booth, PT in Boise, ID.  He was one of the first physical therapists to be trained in the United States.  

Fascia is Connective Tissue

Thoracolumbar Fascia

What is the thoracolumbar fascia?


The most popular use of the word fascia in the real world is when someone has foot pain and their doctor tells them they have plantar fasciitis.  Everyone has heard of  plantar fascia.  Many people assume that fascia only exists on the bottom of your feet.  Actually, though, fascia is everywhere in your body. It can be the cause of a lot of pain, and not just your feet.  Another bit of information that is not so widely known is that the fascia that probably causes the most pain for humans is the thoracolumbar fascia. 

This fascia is one of the thickest layers of fascia in the whole body.  It is a sheet of connective tissue that covers the entire mid back and lower back, running from the shoulder blades down to the back side of your hip bones (iliac crests). 


Thoraco lumbar fascia does not show up on MRI, CAT scans, or X-rays.  Some researchers now believe the thoraco lumbar fascia could be the single biggest culprit in mechanical low back pain.  You can read a lot about the thoracolumbar fascia, but a picture is worth a thousand words.


The photo to the right is of a piece of thoracolumbar fascia.  Dr. Carla Stecco is a world-famous researcher on fascia.  She wrote a book entitled

'Functional Atlas of the Human Fascial System

The video below is of living fascia recorded by renowned hand surgeon, Dr. Jean-Claude Guimberteau, entitled 'Strolling Under the Skin'.

FDM Manual Therapy - Low Back Pain

Fascial Distortion Model for Low Back Pain

From Dr. Howard Knudsen, Muscle IQ:  "I was treating a patient for back pain when she called to cancel her appointment that day because she had sprained her ankle. One of my staff members told her to keep her appointment because it would be best to fix her ankle problem today... and that there was no reason to wait.  When she arrived, her sprained ankle showed moderate swelling and it was tender to the touch.  The patient described her pain as a burning, pulling sensation and she made a sweeping motion along the outside of the ankle.  She also described a stabbing pain along the front of the ankle as she pointed to a spot with one finger.  Her ankle mobility was restricted.  She was barely able to put weight on the injured leg and walked with a severe limp."

Medical Model = "Nursing Back to Health":

Again, from Dr. Knudsen:  "The reason she assumed she should cancel her appointment that day and rest it for a few weeks is because this is what conventional medical model dictates. Her physician had likely told her in the past that an ankle sprain needs rest, ice, a compression wrap with an immobilizer and elevation of the leg (aka R.I.C.E.).  She would also likely be prescribed an over-the-counter anti-inflammatory medication.

Prognosis?  The patient can resume physical activity a few weeks later."

FDM Approach and Treatment:

"My FDM impression or hypothesis of this patient’s condition was that she had two different fascial distortions.  These distortions were corrected manually, using brute force.  After treatment, the patient was pain-free and was able to walk normally.  She was able to resume unrestricted physical activity after the first visit.  She did not need a second treatment for her ankle sprain, even though she was still seeing me for chronic back pain (which was more complicated and took more visits to resolve)."

Fascia is Connective Tissue

Fascial Distortion Model Courses

What is the Fascial Distortion Model?


You can find a good definition of fascia on the John Hopkins website:

"Fascia is a thin casing of connective tissue that surrounds and holds every organ, blood vessel, bone, nerve fiber and muscle in place. The tissue does more than provide internal structure; fascia has nerves that make it almost as sensitive as skin. When stressed, it tightens up."

Any professional clinician can take the Fascial Distortion Model Courses through the FDM Academy.  Click the link above to see what courses are being held soon near you.  The next course is FDM Module 2 - Axial Spine emphasis.

What is FDM Module - 2?

FDM Module 2 - This course focuses on FDM applied to the regions of the axial spine. No prerequisite course required. Our usual Friday evening introduction will be virtual and made available 2 weeks prior to the course. Live course November 13-14, 2021. The course will be held on the campus of the University of Incarnate Word, San Antonio, TX and taught by FDM instructor, Todd Capistrant, DO.

If you are in Europe, you can take Fascial Distortion Model Courses through the European Fascial Distortion Model Association.


Another group teaching Fascial Distortion Model Courses is the company led by the Typaldos family.


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