Myofascial Release Therapy
To understand Myofascial Release Therapy, you must first understand myofascial pain syndrome. Myofascial pain syndrome is a chronic pain disorder that typically occurs after a muscle has been contracted repetitively. What distinguishes myofascial pain from any other muscle tension pain is that it persists and worsens over time. Myofascial pain takes place in the body’s fascia – the connective tissue that is composed primarily of collagen.
How do you know if you have myofascial pain?
Myofascial pain can present itself as a persistent, deep, aching muscle pain that worsens over time. It can feel like a tender knot in the muscle. These pains can be brought on by two key factors – muscle injury and stress.
A muscle injury could be the result of an accident, playing sports, poor posture or simply repetitive use. Myofascial pain brought on by stress is likely to be caused muscle clenching – a common physical response to ongoing stress.
Other conditions that can benefit from myofascial release therapy include Temporo Mandibular Joint (TMJ) disorder, carpal tunnel syndrome, fibromyalgia and migraines.
How is Myofascial Release Therapy administered?
Myofascial Release Therapy is a hands-on therapy that is markedly different from traditional massage. For one, no creams or oils are applied to the skin. This allows the therapist to accurately pinpoint connective tissue restrictions and apply the appropriate amount of pressure without randomly gliding over the skin. And this brings us to the next differing factor.
Unlike traditional massage, myofascial release therapy doesn’t apply a continual gliding pressure. Instead, it focuses on prolonged pressure in specific areas where connective tissue is restricted. As pressure is slowly, methodically and gently applied, the fascia begins to elongate. This is the release element of myofascial release therapy.
What are the benefits of Myofascial Release Therapy?
Myofascial Release Therapy can have a significant impact on one’s quality of life. The key ways in which it can improve one’s condition are the following:
- Increased blood flow is achieved by removing knots and tension, and increasing hydration
- Improved muscular range of motion, by allowing connective tissue to move more freely
- Reduced muscle soreness with better blood circulation
- Improved mobility of lymph, the colourless fluid that helps the body fight infection
- Helps maintain functional muscle length, by relieving tension in tightened muscles