Myofascial Release Therapy
What is Myofascial Release Therapy?
Myofascial Release Therapy is a set of techniques that aim to lengthen fascia, make it more flexible and improve its hydration. Myofascial release therapy is a safe and very effective technique that exerts pressure over a period of time to elongate the fibers that make up the fascia in your muscles .
Fascia is the tuff silver membrane that surrounds all our muscles and organs, it transmits all the forces that your body experiences and reduces friction between individual muscles during movement. Fascia can withstand 2 tons of pressure per square inch which is not far off the strength of steel. Each Muscle also has a fascial / cartilaginous skeleton running down the core of the muscle to which all the contractile muscle fibers attach to. Shortening and increased stiffness of the fascia causes restricted range of movement, increased pain and restricted blood flow within the muscle. This shortening also inhibits the contractile elements of the muscle functioning properly causing loss of muscle strength and reaction time. Shin splints is a classic example of fascia restricting blood flow, in runners shin splints can force them to stop running due to pain.
Causes of Myofascial Pain
Myofascia has ten times more pain and movement sensors in it compared to muscle tissue so when it is dysfunctional it causes profound disability and pain. Muscle Trigger Points are are a very localised form of myofascial dysfunction.
Pain occurs due to pain sensors in the fascia and muscles having stress placed upon them, this stress comes from the tightness and stiffness of the fascia and the accumulation of metabolic waste products due to restricted blood flow.
Self Myofascial Release
Self help is a fast growing segment of the health industry. People are looking for ways to fix their own problems rather than relying on health professionals to do it for them. The reasons for this are many but the the main ones are that people want to take control of their lives and the issues that they face. Reducing cost of rehabilitating your self is also a strong motivator.
Myofascial Release Tools
There is a plethora of Myofascial Release Tools on the market that offer varying degrees of effective relief of myofascial pain.
Most of them have a large diameter (150mm) like Foam Rollers and Trigger balls which is not able to concentrate the pressure required to stretch tight tuff fascia.
The Mobilization Magic Tool has a diameter of 25 mm which is the same diameter as a Therapists elbow. Unlike a Therapist you can lay on the tool for longer and longer periods of time up the 30 mins so you can stretch the myofascial tissues in a meaningful and long term sustained way.
Sideways Stretching ™
One of the important benefits of the MMT (unlike foam rollers, for example) is that it can be used to stretch muscles sideways, instead of lengthways (the conventional way). Sideways stretching is very effective in releasing adhesions and the fascial sheath continuum which surrounds all muscles and ‘sticks’ them to each other. Sideways stretching is particularly effective for muscles such as the Quads, Calf, Groin and Hamstrings.
See our video for a demonstration of how easy it is to use the tool to achieve this ‘sideways’ stretch with the MMT.
How Myofascial Release works
The Mobilization Magic tool effectively breaks down fascial restrictions and scar tissue. The introduction of sustained pressure to affected soft tissue causes the stimulation of local inflammatory response. The microtrauma that pressure causes starts a reabsorption process of fibrotic tissue or excessive scar tissue and promotes a chain of healing activities resulting in normalising the affected soft tissue. Adhesions within the soft tissue which may have developed as a result of surgery, immobilization, repeated strain or other mechanisms, are broken down allowing full functional restoration to occur
Additional Treatments for Myofascial Release Therapy
- Muscle Stretching.
- Dry Needling.
- Posture training
- PNF Movement Patterns