Myofascial Release Treatments
MFR is safe, low load stretching that relieves soft tissue restrictions by releasing tightness and pain caused by these restrictions throughout the body.
Of the treatments that exist today for different diseases of the connective tissue, major attention should be given to the sector of rehabilitation after trauma or serious diseases.
How the process works
Chronic pain or low back pain can result from a trauma, such as a car accident or fall, cumulative posture misalignment or mechanical deficits, compression of nerve due to herniated disc, or inflammatory conditions.
These traumas often affect the fascial system, the web of connective tissue that spreads throughout the body and surrounds every muscle, bone, nerve blood vessel and organ. Fascia binds structures together, while permitting others to slide smoothly over each other. When pain is caused by tightness within the fascial system, the diagnosis is difficult, as fascial restrictions do not show on MRI scans or x-rays. However, these restrictions can cause pain and malfunction in the structure of the spine, extremities and organs.
How the Fascia is affected
The fascia system is a structure of connective tissue, like a tendon or ligament, that starts with the top layer directly below the skin and extends to two deeper layers. When the fascia is in its normal healthy state it is a relaxed and supple web. When it is restricted, it is more rigid and less pliable, and can create pulls, tensions and pressure as great as 2,000 pounds per square inch.
The fascia runs from the bottom of the feet through the top of the head and has three layers:
Superficial fascia lies directly below the skin. It stores fat and water, and allows nerves to run through it, and muscle to move the skin.
Deep fascia surrounds and infuses with muscle, bone, nerves and blood vessels to the cellular level.
Deepest fascia sits within the dura of cranial sacral system.
Restrictions can occur within any or all of the layers
Myofascial pain can have two sources. Pain can be generated from the skeletal muscle or connective tissues that are fastened by tight fascia. In addition, pain can also be generated from damaged myofascial tissue itself, sometimes at a ‘trigger point’ where a contraction of muscle fibers has occurred. In both cases, the restriction or contraction inhibits blood flow to the affected structures, accentuating the contraction process further unless the area is treated.
Myofascial therapy releases muscular shortness and tightness
There are a number of conditions and symptoms that myofascial therapy addresses. Many patients use Myofascial treatment after losing flexibility or function following an injury or if experiencing ongoing back, shoulder, neck, hip or pain in any area containing soft tissue.
Other conditions include Temporo-Mandibular Joint (TMJ) disorder, carpal tunnel syndrome, or possibly fibromyalgia or migraine headaches.
Patient symptoms include:
Tightness of the tissues that restricts motion or pulls the body out of alignment, causing individuals to overuse one hip or shoulder
Excessive pressure on muscles or joints that produces pain
Pain in any part or parts of the body, including headache or back pain
Indications and Treatments
Valuable experience has now been gained in rehabilitation development programs based on treatments of the connective tissue. The results of the treatments have exceeded every expectation and now the future in this field is much more reliable.
Basic sectors of treatment of the connective tissue:
Rehabilitation of patients after trauma and/or serious diseases of the myosceletal system.
Rehabilitation of patients recovering from serious diseases of the nervous system (brain stroke, Parkinson’s disease and others).
Rehabilitation of patients suffering from diseases of the ischium.
Myofascial therapy can be a precursor and complement to other treatments
Patients who engage in myofascial therapy may also benefit from other forms of conservative care that aim to control pain and keep muscles and joints warm and loose. These include:
Using non-prescription pain relievers such as acetaminophen or non-steroidal anti-inflammatories
Applying heat to soothe constricted muscles or ice to calm inflamed areas
Performing self-stretching exercises to maintain flexibility and increase range of motion or aerobic exercise to increase blood flow to the affected areas
Myofascial therapy can also enhance or assist other treatments to increase their effectiveness such as acupuncture, manipulation, physical therapy or occupational therapy.
Myofascial release therapy can improve skeletal and muscular alignment prior to a surgery, or help athletes achieve better alignment prior to sports competitions.
By targeting specific areas of the fascial system, myofascial therapy can help prepare patients for more aggressive forms of strengthening or provide pain relief for patients with restricted flexibility and movement, allowing patients to return to normal movement and greater function.