BREAKING NEWS - Original Founder of Adverse Neural Tension passes away in Sweden
Obituary and Tribute to a True Pioneer
Dr. Alf Breig - painted by his daughter Ann-Caroline Breig, an artist. © NDS/BreigDr. Alf Breig, the originator and founder of the concept of adverse mechanical tension in the nervous system passed away peacefully in his home town of Söderhamn, Sweden, at the age of 96. He is succeeded by his wife Elisabeth Breig-Åsberg who cared for him in his later years and whose contribution during Alf's lifetime has meant that much of his work will live on.
Breig's work was seminal and gave him eponymic status in the field of neurodynamics because he showed in fresh cadavers how the nervous system behaves with spinal and limb movements. Based on his observations in patients and cadavers from the gross anatomical to the histological level, he proposed the concept of adverse mechanical tension in the nervous system.
He also hypothesized that pathomechanical disorders, such as disc protrusions, dysraphism and abnormal spinal mechanics could produce histopathologic changes in the neural tissues and therefore be a relevant cause of neural disorders.
His first book, Biomechanics of the Central Nervous System was published in 1960 was a milestone in this area in which he showed the dynamics of cranial nerves, brain tissue and even the ventricles. He followed this up with another in 1978 (Adverse Mechanical Tension in the Central Nervous System) which took his work further into the clinical situation. Breig was probably the first to record cinematographically spinal cord dynamics with movements of the spine.
Another of his innovations was the development of pressure biofeedback for observation of lumbar spine movement with the straight leg raise, showing how much the lumbar spine moves with this neurodynamic test. We now use this tool for observation of both lumbar and cervical function. He also showed that nerve roots move inside their meningeal sheath, illustrating an element of independence of dynamics between the connective tissue and neural tissue components of the system. He also demonstrated the dynamic interactions between the intrapelvic part of the sciatic nerve and the piriformis muscle, histologically demonstrated distortions of axons with certain spinal movements and similarly the blood vessels in the spinal neural tissues. He researched the movement of the lumbar nerve roots in cadavers with the straight leg raise and neck movements and the effect of gravity on the neural tissues in the spinal canal. Breig also showed the effects of lateral flexion of the spine on the nerve roots and intrapelvic part of the sciatic nerve. And the list goes on.
We are very saddened by the passing of Dr. Breig and all the staff at Neurodynamic Solutions (NDS) extend our deepest sympathy to Mrs. Breig-Åsberg and her family at this time.Top
Good News About Breig's Work
1960: Biomechanics of the Central Nervous System
© NDS/BreigAnyone who has read Dr. Breig's books will be aware of how important they are in the area of clinical neurodynamics. For various reasons, we, along with other health professionals, have found it difficult to gain access to, and foster dissemination of, his work. His first book in 1960 is out of print and the second one is as scarce as hen's teeth. To solve this problem, Neurodynamics Solutions (NDS) has obtained the publishing rights to Dr. Breig's two original and pioneering books. We are working together with the Swedish Section for Orthopaedic Manipulative Therapy to release the material in a new monograph which will be available exclusively through NDS.
We plan to make the book an easy read with fantastic pictures of the cadaver research that Dr. Breig performed and to make it as affordable as possible. We therefore hope to make it as accessible as possible to health professionals. Further announcements will be made as to the progress of the book and do visit NDS on the web for other updates.
Alf Breig 1978 - Adverse Mechanical Tension in the Central Nervous System
© NDS/BreigThe Breig family have artistic abilities which was illustrated in Alf's book. He did the technical drawings himself, which the reader will see achieved great quality and precision. His daughter is an artist and her picture of Dr. Breig will be a feature in the new monograph which we feel adds a personal touch to his work that affected a great many health practitioners.
NDS has been working with the Swedish Orthopaedic Manual Therapy Group to produce this exciting monograph and we would like to thank Mr. Ragnar Faleij (President of the Section for Orthopaedic Manipulative Therapy, Swedish Association of Registered Physiotherapists) and his organising committee, along with those editing the book; Ms. Kristina Lundquist-Oppenheim, Mr. Niclas Hjelm and Mr. Dan Wallin.
We have been working with the Breig family over the last couple of years in developing the next publication of Dr. Breig's and would like to offer our heartfelt thanks to Mrs. Breig-Åsberg and her family for their support and assistance in this project. Without them, this would simply not be possible.
- Michael Shacklock
- Ragnar Faleij
- Kristina Lundquist-Oppenheim
- Niclas Hjelm
- Dan Wallin