What Is Myofascial Release?
Myofascial release (MFR) therapy focuses on releasing muscular shortness and tightness. There are a number of conditions and symptoms that myofascial release therapy addresses.
Many patients seek myofascial treatment after losing flexibility or function following an injury or if experiencing ongoing back, shoulder, hip, or virtually pain in any area containing soft tissue.
Other conditions treated by myofascial release therapy include Temporomandibular Joint (TMJ) Disorder, carpal tunnel syndrome, or possibly fibromyalgia or migraine headaches. Patient symptoms usually include:
Tightness of the tissues that restricts motion or pulls the body out of alignment, causing individuals to favour and overuse one hip or shoulder, for example
- A sense of excessive pressure on muscles or joints that produces pain
- Pain in any part or parts of the body, including headache or back pain.
What is Fascia?
Fascia supports and holds your body together. It is a membranous connective tissue made of collagen and elastin fibres and a lubricating ground substance. Fascia has a tensile strength of 2000lbs per square inch, it is incredibly strong. It surrounds and connects your muscles, bones, organs, nerves, and blood vessels.
Picture an orange: The orange peel is like the skin, the soft white inner layer of the peel is the superficial fascia just under the skin; the membranes that wrap each section of the orange is like the deep fascia that surrounds the muscles; and each juicy cell is wrapped in more fascia, which is like the fascia surrounding individual muscle fibres.
Causes of Myofascial Pain
Myofascial pain can have two sources. Pain can be generated from the skeletal muscle or connective tissues that are ‘bound down’ by tight fascia. In addition, pain can also be generated from damaged myofascial tissue itself, sometimes at a ‘trigger point’ where a contraction of muscle fibres has occurred. In either case, the restriction or contraction inhibits blood flow to the affected structures, thus accentuating the contraction process further unless the area is treated.