Myofascial release techniques relax and lengthen muscles and soft tissues. A massage therapist using myofascial release can help a person regain function and flexibility after injuries and treat chronic pain in many parts of your body.
What Is Fascia?
Connective tissues called fascia surround our muscles and envelop our entire bodies. Fasciae also play a key role in regulating our immune systems. However, inflammation, fibrosis, and thickening of our fascia can limit our range of motion and cause pain.
Injuries, inflammations, and surgeries can restrict fascia and create many health problems. For example, fascial restrictions can put up to 2,000 pounds per square inch (psi) on sensitive internal organs and structures, causing great pain. Additionally, fascial restrictions don’t show up on most body scans (x-rays, CAT scans, etc.).
What Is Myofascial Release?
Our fascial tissues promote health, but only when unrestricted. Myofascial release therapists put light, sustained pressure on their clients’ soft tissues to release fascial blockages and restrictions. They use techniques that lengthen fascia and free up muscles to create greater flexibility, reduce pain, and increase immune function.
Myofascial release can help soothe the symptoms of conditions such as:
- Carpal tunnel syndrome
- Temporomandibular joint (TMJ) disorder
- Muscle and joint pain
- Migraine headaches
- Back pain
- Injuries due to poor shoulder or hip alignment
Myofascial release therapy eliminates pain caused by muscles or other connective tissues that are “tied down” by tight fascia. Also, damaged fascial tissue can contribute to pain at “trigger points” that restrict blood flow to nearby areas, causing the damage to spread.
Some undergo myofascial release treatments to achieve better muscular and skeletal alignment before surgery. Others use it to increase their sports performance.