Myofascial release is an amazing form of therapy used to improve flexibility and functionality following an injury or to address chronic pain.
It can also be used to assist or enhance other treatments, including acupuncture, physiotherapy, and manual osteopathy.
Are you ready to learn more? River Stone Wellness is here to help you understand the uses and benefits of myofascial release.
Let’s get started!
What is Myofascial Release?
Myofascial release is a type of manual therapy that focuses on pain in the myofascial tissues. It uses massage techniques to address the membranes that support, connect, and wrap around your muscles.
Pain in the myofascial tissue originates in what is known as “trigger points.” It differs from other forms of pain, and these trigger points exist in anchored areas around your body that can become stiff and inflamed.
During myofascial release therapy, the therapist will locate stiff and adhered areas of myofascial tissue in order to localize and release areas of pain.
Sometimes, these areas do not coincide with the area of pain, but they can restrict movement around the body and cause pain in other areas.
The therapist will use kneading, pressure, and manual stretching techniques to loosen up the tight areas and reduce pain.
Myofascial release offers benefits such as neck and back pain relief, improved range of motion, improved circulation, and overall relaxation.
What is Myofascial Pain?
To truly appreciate the benefits of myofascial release, it’s important to understand what myofascial pain is.
Simply put, myofascial pain is muscle pain but also includes inflammation within soft tissue. This pain often radiates from the fascia and can cause sensations of musculoskeletal pain.
This pain can be caused by prolonged and repetitive movements of the muscles or muscle groups related to sports, exercise, and improper posture.
However, stress and anxiety have been known to trigger myofascial pain as well.
Overall, myofascial pain is commonly felt in the neck and shoulders but can impact the entire musculoskeletal system, including the hips, jaw, calves, quads, and feet.
Luckily, myofascial pain can be addressed in a natural and noninvasive way through myofascial release.
At River Stone Wellness, our expert therapists offer two types of myofascial release: Myofascial Massage and Fascial Stretch Therapy.
Types of Myofascial Release
Myofascial massage is a form of massage that includes slow strokes, passive stretching, and/or cupping. These techniques are used to release tight and restricted muscle groups around the spine, shoulders, and legs.
Massage therapists who are trained in myofascial massage are taught to identify fascia problems by gently massaging the area to detect signs of stiffness and tightness.
The therapist then massages and stretches the area until a release can be felt in the trigger point. The pressure then “evaporates” to relieve the stress and tension that is causing pain.
Certified practitioners will locate multiple trigger points in order to provide overall pain relief. This sometimes involves working on the broader network of muscles associated with the client’s pain.
When you receive myofascial massage, you may feel that the therapist is working randomly around your body. However, they are targeting associated muscle groups to provide immediate relief and long-term benefits.
These benefits include:
- Pain relief
- Tension relief
- Improved range of motion
- Better flexibility
- Improved blood circulation
- Reduced stress
Fascial Stretch Therapy
Fascial stretch therapy is a pain-free therapy that improves restrictions in the body.
It was originally developed for sports (specifically the NFL) and eventually branched off into a highly beneficial form of therapy to improve performance, prevent injuries, and reduce pain.
This table-based therapy involved assisted stretching that focuses on the fascia to eliminate pain and restore function. It is commonly used to address chronic back pain, rehabilitate injuries, and support active and athletic people.
Fascial stretch therapy sessions are designed to meet your unique needs. Straps are used to hold one leg in place while the other is moved around to assure a true stretch.
Many clients find that their mobility is improved after the first session, and the therapist will provide additional exercises to maintain improvements beyond the initial appointment.
Despite popular belief, fascial stretch therapy is not painful! It is a gentle form of therapy that helps you stretch and relax to relieve pain and tension.
Myofascial Release for Pain and Tension
Experiencing pain and tension in your musculoskeletal system can make it hard to live your day-to-day life.
But River Stone Wellness is here to help! Our team of experts is dedicated to helping you achieve optimal health.
Myofascial release is a safe and natural way to relieve pain and tension so you can live your life to its fullest.
Contact us today for more information or book an appointment online to get started!