Years ago, I had a trainer come working for me who introduced me to ELDOA (Longitudinal Osteoarticular Decoaptation Stretches, is taken from the French Etirements Longitudinaux avec Decoaptation Osteo-Articulaire). He offered an ELDOA workshop at Urbanfitt years ago. Since then, I’ve been including myofascial stretching in my training and added to my knowledge of myofascial stretching in the Fascial Stretch Therapy I became certified in.
Then the next time I heard about ELDOA again was last week when a trainer I share space with had learned some stretches from his Osteopath. Then I also heard about an ELDOA class a friend signed up for at Sphinx Pilates on College Street offered by a very skilled instructor, Petra. I thought it was time to write a bit about it since it seems to be taking off as a new more mainstream trend in back health.
ELDOA was developed by a french Osteopath named Guy Voyer. Although Guy Voyer is known internationally for his osteopathic expertise, he considers himself first and foremost a trainer who wants to pass on his skills to the next generation.
Guy developed an ELDOA exercise for every articulation in the spine starting at the base of the skull and ending with the sacro-illiac joint. Disc compression existing at any level of the spine can be addressed through a specific ELDOA exercise.
The goal of each ELDOA exercise is to create fascial tension above and below the joint or disc that one is trying to “open up” or decompress.
The benefits include:
Reduced vertebral compression
Spinal disc re-hydration
Increased muscle tone and awareness
Disc hydration is an important and misunderstood factor in spinal health. Our discs are like sponges; when the area is properly hydrated and the discs are not compressed they draw water in. This hydration is necessary to maintain the suppleness that is present in a healthy disc. If the disc is dehydrated and compressed it will dry out and become brittle. It is in this state that nerve compression and inflammation are more likely to occur.
Why should you consider it? If you’re finding that your back problems aren’t going away despite concerted efforts to heal, then maybe ELDOA will be your answer. Most osteopaths are focused on fascia in their healing process. Don’t resign yourself to back pain and instead, maybe try seeking out alternative care you haven’t yet tried.