Q&A Time! What Are Some MDT Based Resets for Loss of Cervical Flexion? | Modern Manual Therapy Blog

Q&A Time! What Are Some MDT Based Resets for Loss of Cervical Flexion?

One of my first buyers for The EDGE Tool way back when it was called Fascialator recently asked a great question. What are some MDT based resets for loss of cervical flexion?

I had to email him back asking, "How much loss?" The reply, as I expected was, "Minimal."

So this was a perfect common example! Common things happen commonly, most of the time, when you test cervical flexion either actively or as part of a system like the SFMA, you get nearly full motion. What we would call WNL or FN would be a good reversal of curvature posteriorly and the ability to easily touch your chin to your chest..... WITHOUT OPENING YOUR MOUTH.

Ummm... nice try John, better luck next time!
The above picture is the cervical rotation, then flexion test, FN being able to easily touch your chin to your clavicle. The common pattern of

  • not being able to touch the chin to the chest
  • not being able to touch your chin to your clavicle
Normally means a loss of subcranial flexion (or upper cervical flexion for you MDT guys). Arthokinematically, this is supposed to be about 10 degrees. It's lost from everyone's favorite posture!

Most people being the slouches that they are, have perfectly normal cervical flexion, but that last little bit is subcranial due to being in extension. After this basic review, the best MDT based reset would be....
Best cue EVAR! Ugly guy coming into kiss you, works for both males and females alike!
Cervical retraction helps restore the loss of subcranial flexion. That's perfect for the hourly HEP. In terms of manual techniques, a little light #IASTM and some subcranial shear distractions are a great manual combo to assist this along. This may be a slow responder depsite the small loss of motion depending on how long the patient spends in this posture daily. 

Keeping it Eclectic...


  1. Should have a different picture for the subtitle then. That looks like a good looking guy to me

  2. Yeah I'm talking about the guy on the right obviously not the one on the left

  3. I didn't realize that one was suppose to be able to touch their sternum to their chin until I took SFMA. Then I found out that I was "cheating" my posture- I had no upper cervical retraction. Cleaned that up and AH HA! I can touch my sternum. Oh- and I haven't had a headache- but that's a different post.

  4. Glad that cleared up your HA, we're just like our patients many times