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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. The Mobilization Magic™ self-myofascial release tool is the best way to get relief from the comfort of your own home.

 

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 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 main ones are that people want to take control of their lives and the issues that they face. Reducing the cost of rehabilitating yourself is also a strong motivator. If you’re looking for effective muscle recovery without having to visit a professional, the Mobilization Magic™ self-myofascial release tool is just what you need.

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 above for a demonstration of how easy it is to use the tool to achieve this ‘sideways’ stretch with the MMT.

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Nick Neck Lateral stretch
Hip Pain Video capture
Shin Splints Video capture
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Nick-Hamstring-Stretch

See more on sideways stretching here

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
  • Massage.
  • Heat.
  • Ultrasound.
  • Vibration
  • PNF Movement Patterns

Get your Mobilization Magic Tool here



Acute Pain and Injuries

If you have a recent injury or an old injury that has increased in pain then it is best to ice the area to reduce the inflammation. Do not  put the tool directly on the most painful spot straight away as that will increase your pain. Use the tool on a spot nearby that does not stir up your pain, this will still put a stretch on the sore spot and loosen up the tight tissues that caused the sore spot. A sore spot is caused by muscles that are tight and stuck together and the sore spot is the weakest part of that muscle. Putting the tool on the whole muscle addresses this underlying problem rather than just concentrating on the most painful area. This Tool stretches very strong stubborn fascia, but it is not a 5 minute job. To get lasting results you need to build up to 30 mins in one spot, multiple times per week, that way you feel the tool slowly melting through one tuff layer after another. Only move the tool to another spot when you feel it has done its job?

Fascia Facts

  • Steel can be stretched so can tuff fascia! Fascia is so strong it can withstand up to 2 tons of pressure per square inch, releasing it requires strong constant pressure that this tool generates.
  • We have ten times more pain and movement sensors in fascia than we do in muscle? Releasing it helps pain and movement
  • Releasing Fascia can take months to show lasting change. Only 30 min sessions with the tool over time will make you successful.

5 Benefits of Myofascial Release

  1. Decreases Pain and Disability
  2. Helps you relax
  3. Improves Flexibility
  4. Accelerates Recovery after Exercise
  5. Makes you Happier

When To Use The Mobilization Magic Tool

Medial Epicondylitis  (Golfers Elbow) Lateral Epicondylitis (Tennis Elbow) Carpal Tunnel Syndrome Neck Pain & Headaches Myofascial Pain & Restrictions
Plantar Fasciitis Rotator Cuff Tendinitis Patellar Tendinitis Tibialis Posterior Tendinitis Muscle Strains
Heel Pain /Achilles Tendinitis  DeQuervain’s Syndrome Post-Surgical and Traumatic Scars Ligament Sprains Non-Acute Bursitis
Musculoskeletal Imbalances Chronic Joint Swelling Associated with Sprains/Strains RSD (Reflex Sympathetic Dystrophy)
Back Pain Trigger Finger Hip Pain (Replacements) IT Band Syndrome Shin Splints
Chronic Ankle Sprains Scars (Surgical, Traumatic)

Contraindications (Conditions that the tool should not be used)

Open wound (unhealed suture site) Unhealed fracture Thrombophlebitis
Uncontrolled hypertension User intolerance/hypersensitivity Hematoma
Osteomyelitis Myositis ossificans Hemophilia

Precautions (Seek Health Professional Advice)

Anti-coagulant medications Cancer Varicose veins
Burn scars Acute inflammatory conditions Kidney dysfunction
Inflammatory condition secondary to infection Rheumatoid arthritis Pregnancy

Spinal Instability like Spondylolisthesis (The Tool can be used away from the unstable segment) Nothing on this web site should be considered health advice, it is provided for informational purposes only, please see Terms & Conditions



Trigger Point Massage Tools

Trigger point massage tools help resolve problems with muscles that account for a very large proportion of the chronic myofascial pain people suffer all over the world. Muscles develop what people call knots, or myofascial trigger points, which can cause myofascial pain syndrome and dysfunction, which are small, local concentrations of electrical activity that can be detected by scientific instruments.

Myofascial Trigger Points TP display a typical pattern of localised tenderness and a tense band of shortened and weak fibres. Myofascial Trigger Points TP start with a muscle strain and becomes a site of sensitized nerves, increased metabolism and reduced blood flow. If left untreated it will become an area of scar tissue that does not stretch anymore and if there are enough of these trigger points, then the muscle will not function properly and cause ongoing problems. This often leads to myofascial pain in nearby joints and referred pain to other areas of the body. You feel the pain in one area, but the problem is in another area and so if you apply pain cream, heat, cold or massage to the area of myofascial pain it does not fix the pain because the problem is elsewhere. see the images to the right that show the referred pain areas.

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Trigger Point Therapy reduces myofascial pain at the location of the trigger point but also the referred pain away from the trigger point, increases movement, and allows the muscles to lengthen and become stronger. To treat Myofascial Trigger Points, enough pressure needs to be applied to the muscle to reach the TP which are often deep in the muscle and deactivate the electrical activity and unblock the blood flow again. Unfortunately foam rollers cannot produce the concentrated force required to treat and break up Trigger Points because of their large radii. That’s why the Mobilization Magic™ trigger point massage tool works so well with Myofascial Trigger Points.

Trigger Point Massage Tools

Pressure and Time make Diamonds and Happy Muscles

The reason this Trigger Point Massage Tool works so well is that it works on a material science concept called creep. Creep describes where a material has a concentrated force applied to it over time and that material yields to that force, an example of creep is when the gas spring of an office chair pushed through the   5 star base and drags on the floor. The gas spring crept through the base, just like the MMT tool creeps through your problem muscle like nothing else can and allows it to heal itself. https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Creep_(deformation)#Examples

In 1983, Janet Travell & David Simons, published a book on Myofascial Trigger Point treatment that revolutionised the treatment of myofascial pain and forms the basis of how they found that Trigger Points occur at the point where a nerve enters a muscle. Trigger Points result in muscles which have been stressed by accidents, sports, occupational stress, and overuse. Once a Trigger Point develops, it can remain for life unless properly treated. The Myofascial Trigger Point restricts range of motion of the muscles and decreases blood flow, reducing nutrients and oxygen to the muscle. This in turn causes a build-up of  waste products including lactic acid, these chemicals stimulate pain nerve endings making them more sensitive, creating a vicious cycle that damages the nerve and muscle tissue and increases your pain and makes the muscle shorter and tighter.

These effects are not confined to the local muscle as tight contracted muscles can compress nerves and blood vessels causing sensations like throbbing, burning, numbness, pins & needles, coldness and swelling of upper and lower limbs.

Pressure applied to the Myofascial Trigger Point is called Ischemic Compression, Acupressure, Shiatzu and the Magic Elbow by some Chinese masseuses. Normal muscles do not contain Trigger Points, nor do they have taut bands of muscle fibers, are not tender to firm pressure, exhibit no local twitch responses and do not refer pain to other areas in response to firm pressure. Women are statistically more vulnerable to Trigger Points than men. There are two different types of stimuli that activate Trigger Points. Firstly there are direct stimuli like acute overload (unusual exercise), overwork fatigue (Shoulder/Neck and Lower Back muscles)  chilling or gross trauma. Secondly there is indirect stimuli like other Trigger Points, visceral disease, arthritic joints and emotional stress.

The reason the Myofascial Trigger Point and the pain that is felt are often in different areas is not completely understood, it does have to do with the fact that nerves in muscles are part of a nerve distribution area like a tree which is serviced by a spinal segment in your spinal cord. The spinal cord segment is like a little computer and interprets the signal from Trigger Points before it sends it to the brain and in that process your brain interprets the pain being in a different location within the nerve distribution.

Using the Trigger Point Massage Tool

When using the trigger point therapy tool on a new spot only use it for a minute or so to see if it increases your myofascial pain for longer than a few minutes and reduce the pressure exerted by the roller or trigger point therapy tool by placing pillows or towels on top of or either side of these tools. If there is no sustained increase in pain after a few hours slowly increase the amount of time by a few minutes each time you use the tool. If you feel this spot is the centre of where you feel tightness and pain, you can spend 30 minutes or more on that spot until the tool melts deeply into the muscle and releases the trigger point and muscle fascia. Hot packs or even better hot baths greatly improve the effectiveness of these techniques as warm/ hot muscle stretch and give way more easily.

The beauty of this trigger point therapy tool is within your tolerance you can eventually lay on this tool for 30 minutes or more which penetrates deeply into the muscles in a gentle way. You will feel it slowly sink into the muscle over time as the tissues yield to the pressure. No other approach I know of enables you to put the right amount of pressure on these trigger points and very tight muscles for extended periods of time which is what they need to reverse the problems of many years.

You will get accustomed to this pressure quickly and so the way to progress this procedure is to use the trigger point massage tool in its tall option, which increases the pressure the tool exerts. Again, start this new use with only a few minutes to start with to ensure there is no increase in myofascial pain.

Always stretch the muscle before and after using the tool, notice if there is any increase in range of movement after using the trigger point massage tool ?

Trigger Point Therapy Roller Exercises

Foam Rollers are used all over the world to treat Trigger Points TPs and tight fascia, unfortunately foam rollers cannot produce the concentrated force required to treat and break up TPs because of their large diameter. Foam Rollers have a 150 mm diameter which produces a diffuse pressure that can increase pain by stirring up the nerves in the area and increase muscle spasms. Therapists use their elbow or thumb to treat TP’s and apply enough force to increase the pain initially but as the pressure is continued to be applied the pain melts away and the dysfunctional biology returns to normal.

Pain and tightness in muscles and connective tissue at the front, back and side of joints can cause pain and reduced range of movement of the joint.

Conventional stretching of these muscles has some effect on the pain and restricted range of the joint, but this can only help to a limited extent because stretching tends to stretch the parts of the muscle that are not constrained and stuck down by adhesions that develop around a tight painful muscle.

Getting Started with Trigger Point Therapy

Step 1

It is recommended that you take a hot bath or apply a hot pack to the affected area before you begin using the tool. Warm muscles stretch and give way more easily and this will greatly improve the tool’s effectiveness.

Step 2

Lay the muscle or joint onto the tool. Rate the pain you feel while using the tool from 1 to 10 (with 1 being the least pain and 10 being the greatest). Your pain when resting on the tool should not be more than 4-5.

Step 3

If your pain is greater than 5, place a towel or a cushion over the tool, or on either side of it, to reduce the amount of pressure, which should reduce the pain to a level of 5 or below.

Step 4

When you feel the position of the tool is in the correct central point where you feel tightness and pain, you can start off laying on the tool for a few minutes to make sure the tool does not increase your pain. If after a few hours rest everything is ok you can start increasing the time on the tool. Once you are comfortable with the tool you can spend 30 minutes or more resting on that same spot (watching TV or reading) until the tool melts deeply into the muscle or joint and releases that trigger point and muscle fascia

Step 5

The pain should begin to decrease within the first couple of minutes and continue to reduce as time goes on. If you notice no improvement within about five minutes, the muscle or joint may be too inflamed and may require the application of an ice pack. Try again later.



IASTM Therapy Tools

Instrument-Assisted Soft Tissue Mobilization IASTM tools are instruments used by therapists for fascia soft-tissue mobilization.

This Mobilization Magic IASTM tool is Australia-made and Designed by an Award Winning Physical Therapist.

These tools are usually operated by a professional therapist because it is not possible to use IASTM tools that are normally associated with IASTM treatment on yourself easily. The Mobilization Magic soft tissue mobilization tool allows you to mobilize yourself in the comfort of your home.

How to use these Mobilization IASTM tools?

All you have to do is lay on the MMT tool for successively longer periods of time up to 30 mins so gravity, your body weight and time releases trigger points, the fascia and connective tissue (CT) in the skin and the underlying muscle as seen in the image right. By stretching the fascia you will increase your range of motion and be able to do things you have not been able to do for years.

Muscles have a cartilaginous/fascia skeleton that runs down the core of it, seen in the diagram below. It is difficult to stretch this skeleton by other approaches but using this MMT tool especially in sideways stretches works very well in bending the fibres in a direction that breaks up stiffness and adhesions.

How this IASTM Therapy Tool works

This soft tissue mobilization 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 normalizing 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.

Our IASTM Therapy Tools stimulate:

  • A flexible and well-maintained, healthy fascial network.
  • Improved (soft) tissue perfusion.
  • Improved range of motion.
  • Mobilization of the soft tissue fascia.
  • Loosening of adhesions in the connective tissue.
  • Treatment of trigger points.

The most common conditions Mobilization Magic IASTM Tools are used for:

  • Back Pain
  • Hip Pain
  • Plantar fasciitis
  • Neck Pain & Headaches
  • Heel Pain /Achilles Tendinitis
  • Patella tendonitis
  • Adhesive Capsulitis
  • Tennis/Golfer’s Elbow
  • Carpal Tunnel Syndrome
  • Iliotibial Band Friction Syndrome
  • Surgical or Traumatic scars
  • Ligament Sprains
  • Non-Acute Bursitis
  •  RSD (Reflex Sympathetic Dystrophy)
  • Muscle Strains and tightness
  • Shin Splints
  • Delayed Onset Muscle Soreness (DOMS)

Frequently Asked Questions

Q Is IASTM Therapy safe?

A Yes, IASTM Therapy has been used world wide for over 100 years with no reported adverse reactions to it. There are some reasons (Contra-indications) to not use it which can be found here.

Q What is Fascia?

A Fascia is the glue that holds our bodies together. All the forces that our bodies experience are transmitted by the fascia, without fascia we are just a pile on bones. See Fascia Facts



Hip Massage Tool

You can use either the Short and Tall options to fix your hip pain with front-on and sideways stretching.

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Using the Hip Massage Tool

As a hip massage tool, the MMT works very well on loosening up the very tight fascia, therefore eliminating hip pain, tightness, and disability in the front of the hip joint just below the pointy bone in the front of your pelvis. Use the short option depending on where your problem is to start with. If you feel you want more pressure, swap to the tall option. Bend and flex your knee to floss the muscle. If that feels good, roll the leg and your body to the left and right to see where the pain is greatest. Put the tool under the problem area for a minute or so. If there are no issues, slowly increase the time spent on the tool to make sure your hip tolerates this pressure.

Since the fascia that causes hip pain is so strong, it is not a 5-minute job to get the results you want. Experience has shown that you can achieve excellent results with this hip massage tool. If you spend at least 20-30 minutes on it multiple times during the week, that is. You can stretch the hip muscles in a sideways direction by rotating your foot to one side and moving your body in the same direction. Rock backwards and forwards until you feel the tool on the side of the muscle. This will push the muscle in a unique way that’s not possible with other approaches.

You can increase the pressure if need be by placing the foot of your other leg up on your bed or couch. This way, you can easily tilt your body up off the floor. Caution: If you feel pins and needles or numbness, move the tool to another spot.

Using this hip massage tool whilst watching TV or doing other things like reading or working on the laptop makes the time pass quickly. Muscle stretches for hip pain work much quicker when warm than cold. Ergo, using a hot pack or taking a hot bath helps a lot.

Is the tool good for Osteoarthritis in the hips?

Yes, the tool will loosen up the tissues surrounding your hip that reduce the hip’s ROM and increase pain. You’ll find that range of motion increases when the joint receives more nutrients to repair itself.