Myofascial release involves a steady, gentle pressure on a restricted area of connective tissue to encourage elongation of the connective tissue, or fascia, that binds bands of muscle together. These areas become bound together and inhibit proper movement of muscles and joints. Various reasons are possible for this state including inflammation, trauma from sports, and or surgery.
Fascia is easily understood by imaging an interconnected web of fibers bound together in one continuous pattern. Much like a sweater, these fibers weave throughout the entire body linking the body from head to toe and back again. Healthy fascia moves without restriction, but when presented with emotional or physical trauma the resultant effect can be as simple as tightening that travels throughout the body to scarring, and can inhibit its ability to stretch and move easily leading to pain and dysfunction.
Often a myofascial therapist will integrate into a myofascial session a posture and or gait assessment and suggestions as to how to increase flexibility and strength. Each session is hands-on and does not use lotion or creams. The absence of lotions allows fascial restrictions to be more easily identified and released with the appropriate amount of pressure over time.
This extremely effective technique was developed by the physical therapist John F. Barnes in the 1960s and has been taught extensively since then to over 100,000 health care providers.
Who can benefit from myofascial release?
Many conditions can be addressed with this technique performed from a highly skilled practitioner. Some of them include:
- Back pain – bulging disc, cervical or lumbar injuries
- Bladder problems – incontinence, leakage
- Bursitis or inflammation around the bursa sac near a joint
- Carpal tunnel
- Frozen shoulder, tennis elbow, shin splints
- Chronic fatigue
- Headaches, migraines
- Plantar fasciitis
- Nerve entrapment