Myofascial Release (or MFR) therapy is a soft tissue therapy for the treatment and rehabilitation of muscular shortness and tightness.
“Myo” refers to muscle, and “fascia” to the elastic web of connective tissue that spreads throughout your body and ties it together. Muscles and fascia work together to support your body and facilitate movement.
Benefits of Myofascial Release
Myotherapy is a safe and gentle treatment for:
- Improving joint range of motion and muscle function
- Correcting posture and restoring balance
- Relieving general pain and discomfort.
Particularly effective for injury recovery and rehabilitation. Such as joint & muscle strains or pulls, tight aching muscles, limited movement, back pain including disc injuries, neck pain and shoulder injuries.
What is Myofascial Release?
Myofascial release is a hands on technique involving the application of stretches and pressure to the fascia and muscles. It relieves tension and pain by releasing and lengthening the fascia, which allows muscles to return to their correct position, length and function.
Fascia supports and covers your muscles, and everything else including organs, bones and nerves. Fascia is interwoven like threads in fabric, connecting every part of the body to every other. It binds the human body into an integral whole, allowing the proper function of moving structures including joints, tendons and muscles.
Fascia can become restricted and inelastic from trauma such as accidents and surgery, as well as from poor posture, chronic inflammation and overuse. Prolonged tension from stress or emotional upset can also cause restrictions. Restrictions in the fascia pull on muscles and other structures, causing tightness, pain and limited movement.
Why is myofascial release so effective?
A restriction in the fascia can cause discomfort and limited movement, sometimes in places distant from the root cause. For example, restrictions in the shoulder can pull on and cause pain in the wrist. Your Myotherapy massage therapist will release restrictions in the whole region, not just one area in isolation. To address pain in the wrist and hand, for example, I may work from the neck all the way to the tips of the fingers.
With restrictions released in the fascia, not only is temporary tightness relieved, but long held patterns of tension can be reverse. This allows muscles to stay lengthen and perform in balance with each other, helping to break habits such as poor posture and protective muscle guarding. Because of this, people often notice that their pain relief, improved movement and other effects are long-lasting.
What injuries can be treated with Myotherapy?
Injuries commonly treated using myotherapeutic techniques include ligament tears, hamstring inflammations, ankle and knee injuries and other muscular and joint traumas associated with high intensity activities. It can also be of benefit to those who are suffering from back, neck, muscular or joint pain due to injury and/or stress. Because a myotherapist has a number of possible treatments in their “kit,” they may be able to find a treatment that works when others have not.
What else can you do?
After treatment your therapist may suggest specific exercises or stretchers to help keep your muscles flexible and lengthened, and/or relaxation techniques to decrease muscle tension. As you integrate stretching and relaxation into your self-care regimen, you can expect increased self awareness. This may reinforce improved movement patterns and help you release tension before it becomes a problem.