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Myofascial Release Therapy

What is Fascia?

Every muscle, nerve, artery and organ are encased by the wrap called “Fascia”. Fascia is a connective tissue surrounding every structure in the human body. So, through this fascia system, the human body is linked as one unit.

Myofascial System

Myofascial system refers to the human connective tissue system consisting of muscles and fascia. This system is the pathway of nerves, blood and lymph vessels, and also transmitting the tensile forces throughout the body.

Myofascial Tightness increases tension and pain

Most musculoskeletal pain stems from the poor quality of muscle, tendon and surrounding fascia. Overused muscle, tendon and fascia become progressively tight and densified. In this condition, muscles cannot function well and the joints get lots of tension. Myofascial tightness often leads to creating Trigger Point in the muscle fibers and tendons. Trigger points and myofascial tightness increase pain and distort the body alignment by increased abnormal tension.

It comes with lots of different names of diseases but the source of pain is Myofascial Restriction with Trigger Points.

TMJ pain, Jaw Pain

Shoulder pain, Thoracic outlet syndrome (Pain and tension in left forearm and hand)

Wrist pain, TFCC pain, Carpal tunnel syndrome

Rib cage pain, Breathing difficulty, Stomach pain, Indigestion

Tight abdomen, Low back pain (deep abdomen fascia tightness compresses lumbar spine), decreased circulation in lower body/ legs (it can also cause tightness and pain in lower leg and foot)

Groin pain, hip flexor pain

Knee pain, ITB syndrome, patellofemoral pain, patella tracking dysfunction

Ankle sprain (ATF ligament sprain), ankle pain

Plantar Fasciitis, Foot pain, Heel pain

Elbow pain, Tennis elbow, Golfer’s elbow (inside of elbow)

How Does Myofascial Restriction Influence the Human Body?

Tight and restricted myofascial system progressively increases discomfort in your body and decreases your body function. It does not only affect your musculoskeletal system. It decreases your blood/ lymph circulation, energy level, metabolism and deactivates organ function.

  1. Increased tensile force distorts your body from inside
  2. Blood and lymph circulation decrease due to the restriction from tight muscle and fascia
  3. Organ function decreases – each organ needs space to function well. Tight myofascial tissues limit proper organ activation
  4. Energy level diminishes due to decreased muscle function, reduced blood circulation and deactivated organ functions
  5. General metabolism decreases

The condition of myofascial system mirrors the level of your stress

Myofascial system reacts to your physical and emotional stress. If you are being stressed out from work, your body will be tensed up unconsciously and your posture will be more slouched. This reaction increases tension in your myofascial system. This tension will be accumulated overtime and creates myofascial restriction/ tightness in your body. It commonly happens together with trigger points in muscles and tendons.

Then, How to restore Myofascial Dysfunction?

Myofascial Release Treatment

Understanding this system is very important in manual therapy in order to release abnormal tension and promote the natural healing process.

During the treatment session, the practitioner tries to find out the main restriction area and release the tension/ adhesion. It improves blood and lymphatic circulation, increases muscle activation and nerve conduction speed. Then the body naturally restores its healing ability. The patient can feel decreased pain and increased flexibility and energy after the treatment if this treatment is successfully done.

Myofascial Manipulation and Scar tissue break up

Muscles have to glide each other smoothly in order to function well. If the connective tissues have strong adhesion and tightness, it will limit this natural glide movement and you will begin to feel lots of tension and pain.

We need to use high intensity treatment techniques such as Myofascial manipulation or scar tissue break up. The practitioner will use their elbow and create friction movement perpendicularly to the target tissue. Once the adhesion is broken up, the tissues will glide each other smoothly and flexibility will be restored. We can also use tools such as Graston or Vibrocurssor to break up the tissue restrictions and adhesion.

Soreness and Pain after Manual therapy

Don’t be surprised when you experience pain or soreness after manual therapy. In order to promote tissue regeneration, specific stimulation will be applied (Myofascial release, trigger point therapy, scar tissue breakup) by a practitioner, after which the treated tissue will have a small inflammation and increase healing factors (fibroblast proliferation). In this period, you may feel some pain or discomfort for 1-3 days. This is the natural healing reaction, and the tissue will be remodeled in this period.