Wednesday, April 16, 2008

The Dorn Method: Can it be a simple fix for misaligned joints?

The past week my running wasn't going well. My left psoas continued to be tight as well as my left gluteus miniumus, piriformis, or something else back there that was real tight. I also had stiffness along the sacrum. It got that way last summer for almost two months and nothing I tried could ease the tightness. I knew I was headed in a wrong direction when I thought about using a heel lift again (never works-but who knows).

I was checking things out on the internet to see what else was out there: stretches were tending to make things worse. I came across something on Youtube that I had never heard of or seen before but it looked promising.

Hip Exercise

Sacrum Exercise

So I read what I could find and decided to check out further this Dorn Method. Seems it came from Germany and it is called a gentle relative to chiropractic and osteopathy. It was developed by and is touted as for non-medical practitioners. The founder meant for it to be shared freely and it can be used for self-help. Well that sounded a little different but I checked out the exercises and they seemed simple, gentle, and they made sense.

The exercises like many newer modalities involve movement and not just static stretching.The movement helps distract the muslces as you work on the joint. After reading about the method, I tried a few exercises and while they were nothing difficult, by the time I was done (just a few minutes) the tightness on my left side was gone and my leg was moving smoother. I actually felt movement within the left hip as I walked. The next day I felt fine again and when I did my run, I was running smoother than I had in over a week. In fact I noticed that my back and hip were not "stuck" so my quads and hamstrings were doing more of the running and were not hindered by the limited range of motion in my hips. Today I felt good but I didn't have a chance to run due to almost 12 hours of teaching, meetings, and workshops. I look forward to seeing if the exercises help compliment what I am already doing.

Some of the exercises (I did not do them all) work with movements similar to the joint mobility work I am doing, but the add a component of having a small force or pressure pushing on a joint or muscle. The self-help page displays many of the exercises. I also bought and downloaded the e-book here because it was less than $10 and I wanted to read what I could on the method and it was easier to refer to the exercises from a printout than on my computer screen. It looks like it may serve to unstick the joints around my hip and lower back and if it can do that it would be a great tool to know and use. I used the hip and sacrum exercises as well as the knee and ankle routines. I like that it is simple and sensible. The e-book also tells you what stretches and positions to avoid (some of them were ones I do to try to fix my back that seem to work at first but then throw other things off).


Anonymous said...


Thank you for discovering the Dorn method. I downloaded the book and have tried some of the exercises. They instantly felt right.

I think you are really onto something.

All the best,
Paul Fendler

Jim Hansen said...

Hi Paul,
That is great. I think you are correct in that they can feel good right away!

Thomas Zudrell said...

Just found your blog..Thanks for the comments there.
You will ahrdly believe what is possible with simple self therapy exercises as we do them in the Dorn Method, I kind of exite myself every day and became addicted...
Thanks for spreading the news..
Thomas Zudrell MD(AM), DMS
International Dorn Method Instructor