Ridgway Method (RM) is systematic approach to physiotherapy, allowing a way of assessing the body to find the “underlying cause” of your condition, i.e. to find out what structure is causing your body to “guard up” and give your body a reason to create the pain and stiffness you are experiencing.
When someone has a chronic injury, it means they have had an initial injury just like any other condition we see, but it has not resolved and has continued to give them trouble for months on end. If an injury has been going on for this long, there is often a lot more of this guarding going on throughout the body,
because your brain understands that the underlying cause has not yet been found and fixed,so it continues to tighten things up and give you pain to make you aware that there is still an issue somewhere in your body that needs addressing!
As we are learning more and more, this issue in the body is quite often in a completely different area of the body to where you are feeling your symptoms. As there is no hard wired nerve or pathway for “pain”, and it is just a creation of the brain to protect us, it may be mapped to anywhere in the body that the brain thinks it will best serve to keep us from doing more harm. So while you may have had this chronic low back pain for years, the pain in your back may just be the body’s best way of protecting an area in your upper back, or in your leg, or even in your arms/shoulders/neck, which explains why having your low back rubbed and treated all these years does not give long term relief, because the issue is not actually in your low back, and your body knows this..
This is where RM comes in...
RM searches your whole body and finds out exactly what structures in your body are stiff, sore, or just not functioning ideally. Any of these dysfunctions within the body have the potential to cause the guarding up and stiffening of the body that we spoke about earlier, which can then lead to pain.
Once we have a list of these dysfunctions, we can then test each one individually to see which one is the primary contributing factor (PCF) to your condition, and when released, lets your body move in the most free and painless way possible.
So when we have found this PCF, and released it, and got your body moving in an ideal way, the brain no longer has a reason to protect that spot, so all of that guarding throughout your body, even if it has been there for 5 years, can let go!
Once the guarding lets go and you are moving freely again, there is no need for the pain “warning signals” so the pain goes away!!