What is Myofascial Release?
Myofascial release techniques encompass a variety of soft tissue therapies to treat pain, relax muscles, improve circulation and lymphatic drainage, and increase mobility. Physical therapists are masters of the methods that employ gentle touch and stretching to promote healing and relieve chronic conditions.
Skin, muscles, tendons and ligaments often become stiff, sore, and tight following an injury or trauma and are present in a myriad of chronic diseases. Pain in one area of the body often originates in another location entirely. The exact location within the anatomy where the pain originates is referred to as a trigger point and it can be manipulated through myofascial release techniques.
To protect itself, the body responds to pain, injury and chronic disease syndromes by trying to isolate the damage to a single location. The reaction can produce tension, swelling, stiffness and restrictions extending through multiple layers of interconnecting tissue that can reach to the bone. Pressure within the body can occur that’s been measured at up to 2,000 psi.
Myofascial pain has multiple components that require specialized therapy. Many conditions, diseases, syndromes and injuries can result in trigger points that cause immediate pain and effects that can linger far into the future. Symptoms may appear immediately or even years later and patients may not associate the original injury with the current pain.
Myofascial techniques are beneficial for conditions ranging from migraines and TMJ pain to lumbar problems, fibromyalgia and carpal tunnel. Chronic fatigue syndrome, mastectomy pain and neurological dysfunction can all be addressed successfully with myofascial release to relieve pain, foster mobility and reduce the potential for disability.
We may utilize therapeutic massage, dry needling and acupuncture to loosen and strengthen tissues. Therapies work with the body’s own healing abilities to help remove toxins that collect at injured and inflamed locations and direct circulation where it’s needed most.
We can integrate other physical therapies with myofascial release. Compression and the gentle stretching and movements of clinical Pilates and yoga reinforce the effects of massage therapy. Depending upon the patient and the source of the pain, electrical stimulation, aquatic therapy and ultrasound may be incorporated into a treatment and management plan.
Our physical therapists are skilled in myofascial techniques for pain relief, restoring functionality and releasing the tension, inflammation and pressure that accompanies injuries and chronic disease. Myofascial therapies are effective for treating current, prior and chronic conditions and injuries to enhance motion, reduce the potential for disability and improve quality of life.