Prof. Eyal Lederman


Therapeutic stretching: a functional approach

An active, multidimensional approach to recovering range of movement


Clinical stretching has limited contribution to recovery of movement range in many musculoskeletal conditions - Immediate: 30, short-term: 10, long-term: 00

(Cochrane Database, CD007455)


Find out why and how it can be resolved


Loss of range of movement (ROM) is a common outcome following sports injuries. Loss of ROM can delay the return to activity and can degrade sports performance. Often such ROM losses are associated with connective tissue/fascial and muscle contractures.


Although there has been extensive research into the structure and function of connective tissue and fascia clinical application has remained largely ineffective. Recent systematic review has demonstrated that traditional stretching methods are ineffective in improving range of movement (ROM) in various conditions where contractures are present. Modest outcomes were observed for all forms of stretching approaches (Cochrane Database, CD007455).


Functional stretching has been developed over 10 years by Prof Lederman to provide a solution to the limitations of traditional stretching approaches. It focuses on active restoration of ROM, using task-specific, functional movement patterns. This approach is informed by original doctoral research carried out by Prof Lederman at the British School of Osteopathy in collaboration with the physiotherapy department at King’s College, London. This approach is also informed by research in the areas of tissue adaptation, motor control and pain and cognitive-behavioural sciences.


Functional stretching can be used to recover ROM losses in various musculoskeletal conditions including post-injury rehabilitation, immobilisation, surgery, frozen shoulder and central nervous system damage. Part of the course will also examine the role of physical therapies in pain alleviation and ROM desensitisation. This workshop aims to bridge the gap between the extensive research in fascia/connective tissue and its clinical application, in particular for assisting recovery from sports injury.


Learning outcome:

  • Understanding the biomechanical, biological, neurological and psychological-behavioural processes associated with loss of movement range
  • Understanding the processes associated with long-term length adaptation and recovery of movement range
  • Ability to identify the indications for therapeutic stretching
  • Ability to identify and develop a function ROM rehabilitation which is most suitable for the patients' conditions
  • Understanding the differences between therapeutic and recreational stretching
  • Review of various stretching approaches
  • Learning new functional stretching techniques to optimise therapeutic outcome in various musculoskeletal conditions
  • Understanding mechanisms in pain-sensitisation, ROM sensitisation and the approaches that could promote pain alleviation and ROM desensitisation


Workshop schedule:




What is therapeutic stretching, the components of movement range, Causes of ROM loss




ROM rehabilitation: what drives tissue adaptation?


Practical session




Practical session


afternoon break


Motor consideration in ROM rehabilitation, Psychological considerations in ROM rehabilitation, Pain alleviation and ROM desensitization


Practical session


Overview and discussion


Suitability to attend:

All manual and physical therapists (osteopaths, physiotherapists, chiropractors, massage and sports therapists, etc.), trainers and couches. Teachers of all exercise approaches, including Yoga, Pilates, martial arts, etc. 


Prof. Eyal Lederman graduated from the British School of Osteopathy in 1986 and is working as an osteopath in London. He completed his PhD in physiotherapy at King's College, where he researched the neurophysiology of manual therapy. He also researched and developed Osteopathic Harmonic Technique. He is involved in research examining the physiological effects of manual therapy and the development of Functional Neuromuscular Re-abilitation. He is currently involved in researching the clinical application of stretching. Apart from is work in clinic and research he is also the director of CPDO, a centre providing continuous professional development for manual and physical therapists (UK).


Prof. Lederman has been teaching manual therapy and the scientific basis of manual therapy in different schools in the UK and abroad. He has published articles in the area of manual therapy and is the author of the books “Harmonic Technique”, “Fundamentals of Manual Therapy”, “The Science and Practice of Manual Therapy”, “Neuromuscular Rehabilitation in Manual and Physical Therapy” and “Therapeutic Stretching: Towards a Functional Approach”


  • Gesine Niedobitek
  • Telefon: +49 (0)731 / 500 - 45301
  • Telefax: +49 (0)731 / 500 - 45303

Scientific Committee

Sektion Sport- und Rehabilitationsmedizin, Universitätsklinik Ulm