What Is Myofascial Release?
Myofascial Release is a specialised physical and manual therapy – ‘myo’ means muscle and ‘fascia’ means band. Fascia, a connective tissue, is a three dimensional continuous web of fibres surrounded by a viscous fluid. The fibre is very strong yet has a high degree of flexibility, whilst the fluid is a transportation medium which acts as a ‘slide and glide’ mechanism between structures. These tissue fibres surround and support the muscles throughout the body, and pain can originate from specific points within the myofascial tissues called “trigger points.”
Myofascial release works to reduce pain by easing any tension and tightness in these trigger points, which can often be the result of physical and emotional trauma and / or continued poor posture, which have resulted in the fascia becoming hardened or scarred, thereby losing their cushioning and flexible quality.
Because it is not always easy to specify which trigger point is responsible for particular pain, myofascial release is usually used over a broad area of muscle and tissue, rather than at single points on the body.
What does Myofascial Release involve?
Most myofascial release treatments occur during massage therapy. When the therapist encounters stiff or tightened areas (normal myofascia should feel pliable and elastic) they will begin to massage and stretch the areas that feel rigid using a light manual pressure. This helps the tissue and its supportive sheath to release pressure and tightness.
Who is Myofascial Release for?
Patients with myofascial pain syndrome (a chronic pain disorder which is caused by sensitivity and tightness in the myofascial tissues) frequently benefit from this type of therapy. People who experience severe headaches may also find relief from Myofascial Release, as gentle massage of tightened muscles in and around the neck and head can help to reduce such headaches.
Another group of people who can benefit form Myofascial Release are those who suffer from ‘venous insufficiency’, a condition whereby blood pools in the deep veins of the leg, leading to stretching of, and eventual damage to, the veins. This is experienced as aching and painful sensations in the affected leg. Myofascial Release, perhaps used in conjunction with other treatments, can reduce the blood pooling and subsequent pain caused by venous insufficiency.
Finally, professionals (or serious amateurs) who are involved in activities which require them to maintain a high degree of flexibility, power and strength, sometimes combined with a high degree of strain when performing particular movements, are prone to a myriad of injuries, stresses and strains to their bodies. Repetitive movements and / or holding positions create tension, strain and bracing patterns that, if not treated effectively, cause injury and ultimately affect their ability to perform.
Such people can incorporate Myofascial Release into their regular training schedule, not only to improve fitness and maintain flexibility, but also to effectively treat existing conditions and even help prevent against injury in the first place.
If you would like to know about Myofascial Release, why not ask a registered Osteopath in West Sussex
Call The Pain Relief Clinic in Hassocks on 01273 04 78 81