Myofascial Release Therapy

What is Myofascial Release?

Myofascial Release is a highly specialized stretching technique used by physical therapists to treat patients with a variety of soft tissue problems.

Myofascial (mi-oh-FASH-al) release is a manual therapy technique often used in massage. The technique focuses on pain believed to arise from myofascial tissues — the tough membranes that wrap, connect and support your muscles. Theoretically, myofascial pain differs from other types of pain because it originates in "trigger points," which are related to stiff, anchored areas within the myofascia. The pain that a trigger point causes is often difficult to localize, though.

During myofascial release therapy, the therapist locates myofascial areas that feel stiff and fixed instead of elastic and movable under light manual pressure. These areas, though not always near what feels like the source of pain, are thought to restrict muscle and joint movements, contributing to widespread muscle pain. The focused manual pressure and stretching used in myofascial release therapy loosen up restricted movement, leading indirectly to reduced pain.

When Myofascia is damaged or traumatized it can become too tight and cause a number of problems such as:

  • Headaches
  • Muscle pain and spasms
  • Chronic back and neck pain
  • Recurring injuries
  • Sciatica
  • Breathing difficulties
  • Sensations such as numbness and pins and needles
  • Poor posture and reduced flexibility

Things that can cause this once flexible tissue (Myofascia) to become too tight are:
  • Inflammation
  • Traumas, such as a fall or car accident
  • Work injuries
  • Poor posture
  • Lack of stretching such as prolonged sitting or standing
  • Emotional/psychological stress
  • Repetitive motions, such as factory work or keyboarding

Resources:

Here's a great link to work on Trigger Point Therapy at home: http://www.artofmanliness.com/2013/06/13/trigger-point-release