What is Myofascial Release
|The definition is:
||Myofascial Release is a form of soft tissue therapy intended for pain relief and increasing the range of motion. Techniques include massage for stretching the fascia and releasing bonds between fascia, integument, muscles and bones. The fascia is manipulated to allow the connective tissue fibers to reorganize themselves in a more flexible and functional fashion.
The fascia is a seamless web of connective tissue that covers and connects the muscles, organs, and skeletal structures, located between the skin and the underlying structure of muscle and bone. Fascia is actually “one whole” flexible wavy system from head to toe. An example of fascia is the transparent gel like substance in between the skin, fat and muscle of a chicken breast.
Any physical trauma or even poor posture can affect the flexibility of fascia and in return cause pain, commonly called Myofascial Pain Syndrome (MPS). Think of fascia problems as a snag in a sweater. Damage to one area can pull and tug on other areas causing an imbalance. These are commonly called trigger points. Injury or lack of movement can cause fascia to stick or grip to other tissue ultimately developing a trigger point and causing discomfort.
Myofascial release, sometimes called muscle release, is a technique that applies pressure to fascial problems to reduce or eliminate pain and restore range of motion. Other than masking pain with medicines you can either use an apparratus like foam rollers to perform Self Myofascial Release or have a massage done for Myofascial therapy. (Both are the practice of soft tissue manipulation)
Self Myofascial Release
Self Myofascial Release using foam rolls is a technique used by physical therapists and athletes to apply pressure through rolling out trigger points or sore spots which are causing pain. The goal is to manipulate fascia back to a more functional position to eliminate pain and to help with stretching. Imagine damaged fascia being wrinkled aluminum foil and the foam roller being a rolling pin where you attempt to roll everything back to its original place.
Myofascial Massage Therapy
Myofascial Massage Therapy is a massage where deep tissue massage is used to find and break up trigger points with techniques to mash and stretch the fascia back into place.
Many physical therapists will work with patients to put a program together for Myofascial Release therapy in their office along with Self Myofascial Release at home.