Myofascial Release Technique
Fascia is a continuous layer of connective tissue that exists throughout the whole body. Imagine a densely woven web that covers or touches every muscle, bone, and organ from head to toe. This incredible structure, like other body parts, responds to trauma and can tighten as a result. Myofascial release technique is used to restore flexibility to an affected area by manipulating this connective tissue.
Why is Myofascial Release Technique Practiced?
In its natural, healthy state, the fascia layer is supple and flexible. After a trauma like an injury or surgery, it solidifies and can create pressure up to 2,000 pounds per square inch! Myofascial pain syndrome is a chronic pain disorder caused by sensitivity and tightness in these myofascial tissues. The pain typically begins from specific points within your myofascial tissues called trigger points. The goal of myofascial therapy is to stretch and loosen any tightened fascia so that it and other contiguous structures can move more freely.
How is this therapy done?
Myofascial release is a hands-on technique that relies on sustained pressure to an affected area. It feels like a massage but should be performed without any oils so the practitioner can feel every variation in the tissue. The sustained pressure focuses on reducing pain by easing the tension and tightness in the trigger points but is often used over a broad area of muscle and tissue. These areas the therapist is working may not be near where the pain originates because fascia is a strong, connected web. An injury in one spot on it can have an effect throughout the body, like having a pain in our knee that actually has nothing to do with a knee injury, but everything to do with an injury to our lower back. This is why myofascial release focuses on trigger points, but is most effective practice in a broader area.
Who can benefit from Myofascial Release?
Myofascial release therapy is practiced by chiropractors and massage therapists for its benefits in treating soft tissue injuries and has even been recommended by dentists to treat TMJ syndrome and help loosen the jaw. A practitioner may assign patients techniques with foam rollers and massage balls to practice this therapy on themselves in certain areas. This no-risk massage treatment can help ease pain originating from any soft tissue injury, and restore flexibility to the area.