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(FAQs) Functional Range Conditioning

What is FR® (Functional Range Release®), FRC® (Functional Range Conditioning), and FRA® (Functional Range Assessment)?

FR, FRC, and FRA are collectively part of the Functional Range Systems® mobility and treatment platform. 

What is Functional Range Release®?

Functional Range Release is another patented soft-tissue injury management system used by Dr. Melander at North Shore Spine and Sport.

FR is broken down into 3 unique courses covering evaluation and management of spine conditions, upper extremity conditions, and lower extremity conditions.  FR is a style of hands-on manual therapy or myofascial release that incorporates a significant amount of active and passive patient movement, active resistance via isometric contractions, and joint motion exploration.

During an FR session, Dr. Melander will evaluate a patient’s complaint based on their active and passive range of motion as well as the presence of aberrant tissue tone often referred to as either “mechanical tension” or “neurologic tension”.

Mechanical tension is present when an isolated section of muscle or connective tissue has lost some elasticity and pliability, or when an isolated section of muscle is not moving as efficiently through its requisite range of motion as possible.

Neurologic tension on the other hand is present when an entire muscle, group of muscles, or connective tissue region feels contracted, “tight”, or immobilized.

To put that another way, mechanical tension may be present following a simple repetitive stress injury like a shoulder rotator cuff strain from throwing, whereas neurologic tension may be present when an entire body region or joint system can not sufficiently access its range of motion like in an Adhesive Capsulitis (frozen shoulder) scenario.

Functional Range Release® sessions involve a combination of hands-on treatment and Functional Range Conditioning® exercises (described in greater detail below).

    What are the benefits of Functional Range Release®?

    The benefit of FR treatment is improving the capacity of muscle and connective tissue to move, generate force, and dissipate force within the many ranges of motion that said tissues may access. 

    Many patients will report pain relief after FR sessions due to the decrease in tissue tension created during treatment and the favorable impact on range motion.  A patient likely to benefit from FR® is either injured, in pain, or aware of restricted range of motion that they would like to improve.

    What is Functional Range Conditioning®?

    To begin describing FRC, one must appreciate that flexibility and mobility are two different things.  Flexibility may be defined as “how much range of motion do you have” whereas mobility may be defined as “how well do you control your range of motion”?

    In that vein flexibility is a prerequisite for mobility, or put differently, mobility equals flexibility PLUS strength.  Functional Range Conditioning® is used by Dr. Melander with practically every patient at North Shore Spine and Sport in an effort to educate his patients how to improve their mobility for both the short and long-term.

    The justification for mobility training is that movement is the only means of maintaining joint health.  Quite literally, if a person does not use their range of motion they will lose their range of motion.

    What are CARs?  What are PAILs and RAILs?

    In FRC, the 2 most common exercises are CARs (controlled articular rotations), or PAILs/RAILs (Progressive Angular Isometric Load, Regressive Angular Isometric Load).  

    CARs are effectively joint circles, which when applied in a training scenario, are utilized to deliberately move a given joint system through its full and complete range of motion. To progress the challenge of CARs, Dr. Melander may impose certain constraints on the exercise that greatly increase the challenge by reducing compensatory motion from other joint systems.

    PAILs/RAILs on the other hand, despite being a mouthful of acronym, are effectively end-range strengthening exercises for either lengthened (stretched) tissue (PAILs), or for shortened tissue (RAILs).

    PAILs and RAILs are an excellent way of making a patient’s mobility more equal to their flexibility.  By evaluating where an individual is inefficient within a range of motion, Dr. Melander can coach his patient through a sequence of PAILs and RAILs contractions, usually consisting of resisting a stretch with increasing isometric effort (PAILs), and subsequently deepening the stretch with isometric effort (RAILs).

    Check out the videos below for examples of shoulder CARs, hip CARs, and Shoulder Internal Rotation PAILs/RAILs! 

    YouTube video

    What is FRC training?

    FRC training is an attempt to improve an individual’s mobility utilizing a wide variety of unique movement training exercises that facilitate both an increase in range of motion as well as an increase in the control of range of motion.

    Clinically, Dr. Melander was drawn to FRC® because his approach to care was to always ask the question “what is this area supposed to do?”.  For example, if a person complains of shoulder pain, “does their shoulder work like a shoulder?”

    If not, what steps should be taken from a treatment perspective to improve the fundamental function of the shoulder, and subsequently, what steps should be taken from an exercise perspective to reinforce the fundamental function of the shoulder and ultimately reduce the likelihood of a similar injury or complaint from happening again?

    What is the Functional Range Assessment®?

    The Functional Range Assessment (FRA) is a standardized evaluation of an individual’s range of motion.  During an FRA at North Shore Spine and Sport, Dr. Melander will evaluate both an individual’s active range of motion (mobility) and their passive range of motion (flexibility), and determine if a) the range of motion is adequate for that person’s individual needs or b) there is a limitation to their range of motion.

    If a limitation is evident, an individualized FR® treatment or FRC® training program will be initiated to counter their movement limitations.

    The goal of the Functional Range Assessment is to have clearly defined objective parameters of improvement given that a reduction of range of motion can be improved systematically over time.

    In the Functional Range Systems® community, it is often said “Don’t guess, get assessed” which is to say, unless a standardized measurement is completed of a person’s movement capacity it is nearly impossible to say with certainty what joint systems are performing their fundamental movement responsibilities.

    Curious about FR, FRC, or an FRA?  At North Shore Spine and Sport Dr. Melander incorporates the entire Functional Range Systems platform into nearly treatment plan he follows.  Call, text, or email to learn more.

    our Chiropractic

    Dr. Melander has often described his work as new-school rehab, which is to say, an amalgamation of current best practices regarding pain or injury management, hands-on manual therapy or strength/mobility training, and endless advocacy and support for his patients.

    In Dr. Melander’s opinion, the best providers in the field of musculoskeletal injury are able to draw from multiple disciplines to create the most efficient and impactful care strategy for their patients.  If you are injured or hurting and not sure what to do, please reach out, it will be our greatest pleasure to help you.

    We serve Newburyport and surrounding North Shore communities, including: Newbury, West Newbury, Rowley, Byfield, Georgetown, Amesbury, Salisbury, Ipswich, Seabrook NH, Hampton NH, Rye NH.

    Real, measurable, objective changes to quality and quantity of range of motion

    Send good movement information to the brain, get good output from the brain

    Real mobility training is strength training for your joints 

    Movement is arguably the most influential variable we can control relative to our joint health 

    Mobility training can be completed just as effectively from the comfort of your home as it can in our facility

    We can write mobility programs specific to your needs and goals, or just join our group Kinstretch® class

    Chiropractic FAQs

    We've compiled a list of common chiropractic questions to help you get all the answers you are looking for. If you have additional questions if our chiropractic and treatment services in North Shore would be a good fit for you, please contact our team. 

    How do I know if I should see a chiropractor?

    Chiropractors are trained in the evaluation and management (IE: treatment) of issues affecting the neuromusculoskeletal system (muscles, joints, connective tissue, nerves).  Many people associate chiropractic care with the spine only, but this is an inaccurate reflection of many chiropractors in the 21st century who are experts in treating spinal issues AND extremity issues (arms and legs).  As a general rule of thumb, if you have a painful condition that does not get better given a few days of activity modification you may want to consult a professional like a chiropractor.  Your chiropractor should be able to evaluate your painful condition, offer you some perspective and guidance relative to the painful condition, and help you care for the painful condition if treatment is warranted.  Like any profession though, each chiropractor has different clinical experience and different post-graduate education that may lend their practice toward a focus on sports injuries or pregnancy/neonatal care or neurologic issues or nutritional issues to name just a few.  If you are considering seeing a chiropractor, make sure that their experience and skill set seems like a proper match for your complaint and your ultimate goals.

    How do I choose a good chiropractor?

    Choosing a good chiropractor does not have to be a complicated process.  To begin with, ask your friends or family if they know someone they trust and can vet for you.  Next, check online as most chiropractors should have fairly informative websites relative to their clinical interests and experience that may help indicate whether they are a good fit for your issue.  If you are still not sure who to see after taking those steps, call your prospective chiropractor’s office as either the staff or the chiropractor will be more than happy to answer any questions and tell you if your issue is something commonly treated in that office.  Many people also like to read online reviews and while some online reviews can be misleading, if the significant majority of a chiropractor’s reviews are super positive then chances are you can trust the expertise of that provider.  Lastly, and arguably the most important step in choosing a good chiropractor, remember that you are in total control of your healthcare decision making.  If you go to an initial or follow-up appointment and you are not absolutely confident in the assessment and plan your chiropractor has rendered, then seek a second opinion.

    What can a chiropractor fix?

    A chiropractor can help you fix a wide variety of painful conditions related to the neuromusculoskeletal system such as headaches, back/neck pain, shoulder/elbow/wrist/hand pains, hip/knee/ankle/foot pains to name just a few.  Injuries of actual orthopedic compromise like fractures are best handled by orthopedists, but chances are if your pain/injury is non-surgical in nature then a chiropractor may be a great option to help you.  The best chiropractors will explain what they can about your pain/injury, offer guidance and likely treatment as efficiently as possible (days to weeks, maybe months in extreme situations), and then remove themselves and let your brain/body do the rest.  A great deal of research these days indicates that in many healthcare interactions providers should try and limit their patient’s dependency on them, opting instead for interventions and language that fosters resiliency and self-efficacy (independence).

    What happens at your first chiropractic appointment?

    Your first chiropractic appointment should include a detailed discussion of your health history and presenting complaint(s), an examination of your complaint(s), a discussion regarding what is indicated by the examination relative to prognosis and treatment plan, and finally some form of treatment/intervention assuming time permits.  Many painful conditions can be evaluated thoroughly and completely in a matter of minutes and certain treatment interventions could yield immediate relief, while other conditions may require more complex evaluations and more lengthy treatment plans.  Above all, you should leave your first chiropractic appointment feeling confident that your chiropractor is the best option to help you with your problem and you should leave feeling confident that you are on the road to recovery.

    How often should you see a chiropractor?

    You should see a chiropractor as often as you want or need.  Perhaps the most common criticism of chiropractors is that chiropractors “need to see you for the rest of your life”, and while there are unfortunately examples of chiropractors who advocate for this kind of dependency, the significant majority of chiropractors today want to help you as quickly as possible with no long-term commitments of any kind.  The best chiropractor will see you the minimally necessary number of times to help you overcome your issue and suggest you follow-up if there are any residual issues or new complaints sometime in the future.  Many patients however recognize how good they feel after chiropractic care and therefore wish to see their chiropractor with some kind of recurring frequency (IE: once/month, twice/year, or more).  These examples though should be dictated by the patient based on their assessment of their body’s needs and absolutely not dictated by the chiropractor based on some kind of pseudoscientific reasoning.

    Does insurance pay for chiropractor?

    In many cases, yes, insurance will help pay for chiropractic care assuming the chiropractor is participating with your health insurer.  If your chiropractor is not participating with health insurance, then it is still possible you have an out-of-network benefit with your insurer and can seek reimbursement that way.

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