What is myofascial release therapy?
Myofascial release therapy is a physical technique used to treat myofascial pain syndrome. This chronic pain disorder is caused by sensitive and tense myofascial tissue throughout the body. What is myofascial tissue, though? It is the strong, elastic, and fibrous tissue that surrounds and supports muscles and bones. Myofascial pain emanates from within myofascial tissue, and the source of the pain is called a "trigger point". It is the myofascial realease therapy that massages and stretches the trigger point, to relax the tissue, and consequently ease the pain. This kind of treatment can be done to complement traditional medical treatments. It is often used by Chiropractors, as well as physicians.
How does it work?
To find the trigger points, the practitioner will perform a physical examination. They will gently press certain points and see if your body gives a pain response. This response usually comes in the form of a muscle twitch. Practitioners can usually find trigger points when they press muscle areas that feel tight. No other tests can help the practitioner diagnose myofascial pain. From a distance, it may be easy to mistake myofascial pain with what people with fibromyalgia feel. After all, both disorders involve body pain. However, unlike fibromyalgia, myofascial pain has trigger points that create referred pain. This type of pain is felt in one part of the body, but is caused by an ailment or injury in another part. Once they determine the trigger points, the practitioner will then begin to lightly massage them. They do this to stretch and relax the rigid tissue. It takes several repetitions of this process to completely release the pressure and tightness in the tissue and, consequently, the muscle.
What can you expect from a session?
Myofascial release therapy is highly interactive. During the physical exam, which begins your first session, the practitioner will rely on you to tell them when trigger points are painful. They may also ask you to walk or stand so they can use your posture to help with diagnosis. It's best to wear loose clothing for the session. For women, wear a sports bra underneath your top. After a discussion of your medical history, the physical examination, and the preliminary massage, the practitioner will come up with a treatment plan. They may also "assign" you some stretches that you can do at home so therapy is continuous.
Which conditions can myofascial release therapy help ease?
Myofascial Release therapy can also help improve health and wellness, as well as mindset.