What is myofascial release?

MyofasciaMyofascia is the term used to describe all the soft tissues of the body (muscles, tendons, ligaments) and the connections that bind them to each other and to bones, nerves, blood vessels and organs.  Here is a picture of skeletal muscle and its connective fascia (the cotton candy like coating).

For thousands of years, many different forms of myofascial manipulation have been invented to treat pain and illness. Some conditions require passive myofascial release (the patient doesn’t move) while some require active movement with manipulation.

Effective treatment will heal injuries to muscles, tendons, ligaments, fascia, and nerves.  Headaches, back pain, carpal tunnel syndrome, shin splints, shoulder pain, sciatica, plantar fascitis , knee pain, and tennis elbow are just a few of the common conditions that can be resolved quickly and permanently.  These conditions all have one common denominator; they often occur from repetitive stress or tension.

Repetitive stress and tissue tension results in 3 major pathological changes in the tissue:

  • Lack of oxygen and nutrition (hypoxia)
  • Accumulation of small tears (micro-trauma)
  • Acute strains, sprains, and tears

illustration11These changes in your body’s soft tissue will cause your body to produce dense, fibrotic scar tissue and adhesions within the fibers.  This scar tissue will bind up and restrict sections of the muscles from moving freely and firing efficiently.  These tissues then become shorter and weaker which results in tendonitis and peripheral nerve entrapments.  This can lead to decreased range of motion, weakness, pain, and tingling/numbness.

Focus physical therapists have studied numerous forms of tissue manipulation. Our therapists have been trained and certified in numerous styles from Chinese Tui-Na to Active Release Techniques (A.R.T.). There are over 500 specific protocols to release every possible site of tissue restriction in the body. Unlike general massage or simple stretching, we are able to localize soft tissue manipulation to individual segments of adhesion, scarring or tension.

Myofascial Release