If you are an athlete, or participate in a sport, you should do ELDOA. If you aren't, you should too.
What is ELDOA?
ELDOA is an exercise technique developed by world renowned French osteopath, Guy Voyer. ELDOA is a french acronym that, translated to english, stands for Longitudinal Osteoarticular Decoaptation. It is one of the only exercise methods that decompresses the spine. This is done by creating tension in the connective tissue systems (called fascia) that run through the entire body by adopting different body positions.
What do ELDOA exercises involve?
ELDOA exercises use specific postures that promote a decompression at a specific part of the body. Think of it almost like a yoga exercise, with a significant postural and strength element. It is a challenge like no other. ELDOA exercises require no equipment and can be performed by people of all ages and physical conditions.
So, why do ELDOA?
Basically everything that we do in life creates compression in the body. Lifting, walking, sitting… everything. Gravity alone creates a compressive force on our bodies. This can create changes in connective tissue tension that can lead to increased pressure through joints and discs, and even impact on nervous system function. ELDOA is the only form of exercise that decompresses these joints. It's like traction, but is produced through muscle forces. Unloading these joints can have an extremely positive impact on preventing pain and injury, and increasing wellbeing. The beauty of ELDOA is that each exercise targets individual spinal segments, as well as other joints so are used well in the treatment of various spinal pathologies as well as improving biomechanic efficiency in highly loaded areas of the body. ELDOA exercises also promote incredible movement awareness and postural integrity as the exercises strengthening the intrinsic muscles of the spine.
ELDOA for back injuries
It is estimated that 80% of people will have back pain at some stage in their lives. While not all spinal pathologies create a pain response, those that do are always effected by increases in disc pressure. That is the nature of a disc bulge - increased, and uneven, pressure. This increase in pressure on a disc can narrow the joint space and crowd the exit of the nerve from the spinal cord. If the nerve is touched by the disc, that can create the neural pains that run down the leg. ELDOA exercises are perfectly suited for this type of injury. The decompressive nature of the exercises helps to increase joint space, take the disc away from the nerve and, in that case, hopefully help to relieve some neural pain.
ELDOA and improved posture
So much of what we do in life promotes poor posture, and good posture is so important to moving efficiently and remaining free of injuries. The nature of ELDOA is that it works the intrinsic postural muscles of the spine in achieving the main goal of "lengthening" the spine. With this lengthening the spine is encouraged to find the right position which then also reduces spinal joint pressure and normalises disc pressure. As well as strengthening the postural muscles, ELDOA positions also encourage great postural awareness, which can then lead to even further postural improvement.
Who is ELDOA appropriate for?
Everyone. It’s that simple. ELDOA exercises are employed by some of the highest profile professional athletes and olympians all over the world from a variety of sports. They use it both to improve performance and to prevent injury. For the same reasons, it can also be used by everybody to promote good health and wellbeing, and as an important part of injury prevention.
If you are looking for a physical challenge, to improve your health and wellbeing, and reduce your chance of injury, come and try an ELDOA class.