• Dr. Marcus Waller

BENEFITS OF MYOFASCIAL RELEASE

Updated: Dec 2, 2019

WHAT IS MYOFASCIAL RELEASE?

Myofascial release will be a new name for you if you have not been in any sort of pain therapy clinic. Actually, myofascial release, stretching and massage is a type of treatment or a physical therapy which is often used to treat and cure myofascial pain problems or pain syndrome. But what causes myofascial pain?

Basically, this pain is caused due to the tightness and the sensitivity in layers of connective tissue surrounding your muscles. Myofascial tissue surrounds your entire body in-casing muscle fibers. But you might ask why isn’t the pain affecting the entire body? It only originates in specific body parts known as trigger points. These trigger points come from a variety of issues within the tissue of the body; binding, sprain/strain injury, overuse or chronic problems, or improper joint mechanics such as poor posture.

Myofascial release, stretching and massaging reduces the pain in these tissues by releasing the sensitivity and tightness in your body. However, it is difficult to detect the exact trigger point or aggravated parts throughout the body. This is due to pain referral meaning the pain showing up in your forearm may truly come from pain of the elbow where the muscle allowing movement of the elbow are tight and tense due to improper joint alignment and or repetitive injury think golfers elbow. That is why, myofascial release, stretching and massaging treatments are not done only on specific trigger points but rather over the broad areas of your body.





HOW DOES THE MYOFASCIAL RELEASE, STRETCHING AND MASSAGING WORK?

Self myofascial release works by finding areas that feel hard, stiff, or rigid upon gentle pressing. Once an area has been identified you work the area with a massage tool such as a foam roller or my favorite a lacrosse ball to help restore normal motion back to the area. With foam rolling you want to roll in line with the muscle belly allowing the fibers to stretch back to normal position where they should be.

A myofascial therapist will do the same except try to break up tissues that are stuck together or knotted causing tightness or tension. This will help to release the pressure of the knot allowing the muscle belly to move easier without the pain of twisted muscle. Essentially you are having the layers of scar tissue stripped away allowing for new tissue to repair over the damaged site. You won’t be able to fully repair the tissue to 100% just like having a car restored it looks new but its not the original. Also, keep in mind that just because the therapist isn’t working directly on the site of pain does not mean that the trigger point hasn’t been addressed remember the body creates referral patterns for pain.


BENEFITS OF THE MYOFASCIAL RELEASE STRETCHING AND MASSAGING TREATMENT

INCREASES BLOOD FLOW

Many research studies have shown that the myofascial release treatment and even the self-myofascial release therapy treatment can increase and improve your vascular function. This treatment basically helps you to get rid of the tensions, knots and the tangles found within your fascia. The tensions of your fascia can be harmful and also restrict the fluid or blood flow in your body especially if left untreated. With regular stretching and massage of the muscles not only do you feel better but you help your connective tissue repair faster, blood flow, and circulation increases which also speeds up digestion, improves mode, and quality of sleep.


REDUCE MUSCLE SORENESS

You will see a drastic change in the soreness of your muscle. The main reason muscle become sore is due to the build up of lactic acid. With improved circulation lactic acid is flushed faster as well as the movement of import minerals such as Calcium, Sodium, Magnesium, and Potassium These minerals are vital for normal movement and contraction of muscles. We will dive deeper into this later. This why all high performance athletes engage in some sort of regular stretching or massage therapy program.


MAINTAINS NORMAL FUNCTIONAL MUSCULAR LENGTH

The massaging techniques used in myofascial release treatment will help your muscles to retain to their normal length. This is crucial for the movement of joints. Speaking in the world of chiropractic when we address the misalignment of joint the first step begins with identifying the imbalance of muscles. There is a fine line when it comes to maintaining a balance of optimal muscle length and tension of muscle.


ENCOURAGES MOVEMENT OF YOUR LYMPH

Lymph is the major component in your body which helps to fight off various infection and chronic disease. But the lymphatic system is heavily reliant on the movement of the body. As you move and blood flows the lymphatic system is able to do its job and keep you healthy and balanced. Myofascial release and massage therapy encourage and promotes normal pressure of the fluids in the body to circulate and return the heart more freely. This ultimately means that you will walk better, move better, run faster, recover faster and will have reduced pain of your tissues.


CREATING NEW CAPILLARIES

Myofascial release helps to create new blood vessel through a process called angiogenesis. By closing old vessels and allowing new structures to form helps to move blood faster to tissues which allow faster healing. This also allows the body to improve stroke volume (which is the volume of blood circulated through the body per heartbeat). This means you can increase the volume of oxygen in the body allowing better performance.


SUMMARY

Myofascial care is a crucial component to life and not something only for athletes. The benefits go well beyond the topics mentioned here. A few other conditions that are commonly treated for other medical conditions such as fatigue syndrome, back pain, migraines, disc problems, pelvic floor dysfunction, carpal tunnels and etc. In all stretching and proper movement of tissue is equally as important as exercise, diet and sleeping properly.

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