The muscles in every single person’s bodies are covered with a thin layer of connective tissue, called the fascia, which for some is an area of the body that could benefit from therapy, best known as myofascial release. Myofascia (although it’s more known as fascia when referenced) plays a pretty critical role in your flexibility, blood flow, lymphatic flow, strength and power, tension, and range of motion for your muscles as it wraps around all of your muscles and bones. This layer works like a kind of net, and in doing so, connects every part of your body to each other. No doubt one can imagine the role it could play in your entire body if you imagine all of your muscles.
Why Would Someone Need Myofascial Release Therapy?
While the fascia is thin tissue, it is strong too, and keeping it that way and functionally for a fully healthy muscular, skeletal, nervous system, lymphatic system and general wellness – for some – can be more difficult. In the end, this leads to the need for beneficial myofascial release. That only happens if your fascia gets to the point of needing to do so, where the symptoms caused by tightness and inflammation of the fascia which, if persistent, can be chronically diagnosed as myofascial pain syndrome. The pain can be very bothersome and sometimes debilitating if not treated. Since the type of trauma that causes the chronic pain, tension, tightness, and weakness in the body can be over time or a more acute accident, myofascial release is needed at all different times and for various reasons.
Before Myofascial Release
Before someone might desperately need myofascial release they can still practice it. A healthily functioning fascia is so important to normally functioning body and it’s good to know exactly what is happening beneath our skin within our bodies, and how we are moving in them, treating them, and understanding how they work.
Understanding Your Fascia
When your myofascial system is in a normal, healthy state, it has no problem whatsoever stretching and moving without restriction. The fascia itself has no problem doing so, and so many things. A healthy myofascia is relaxed, soft, and actually wavy. As such, this allows your fascia to be very pliable and gives you completely pain free movement. It directly prevents injury and maintains strength for your whole bodily system constantly.
Myofascial Release for Damaged Fascia
Myofascial pain syndrome is, as mentioned, a result of trauma or damage to the fascia. What kind of damage exactly happens that can tighten our fascia so that we are in pain or cannot move properly and may need myofascial release? Happening under the skin to our fascia, the woven web across our body, can become abnormally tight or tense when it does not get taken care of properly, and then inflammation and pain will ensure as the fascia thickens. It’s no longer soft and malleable, and thus, cannot properly support the other areas of the body it needs to. The damage causes so many problems when your fascia is weak and tense, ranging from headaches, to back and neck pain, to muscle pain and spasms, loss of flexibility and range of motion, and recurring injuries.
Trigger Points for Myofascial Release Therapy
Myofascial release therapy can help your damaged fascia and muscles, and help restore the wellness to your body that you so deserve. Those with damaged fascia can try to manage and restore the state of the tissues. While doing this type of therapy, you’ll find a key component, and that is to identify the “trigger points” in your body, which are spots in the muscle that when pressure is applied to, actually generate the pain in another area of the body other than where you’re actually pressing on the tight spots, and once found release them by holding pressure down on these trigger points slightly and slowly, gradually relaxing and allowing the release as the pain fades away.
Myofascial Release Techniques So You Can Maintain Healing
Finding techniques that are based around this are going to be what you look for in myofascial release therapy options. There are several different types that will help all of some of the different types of effects of myofascial pain syndrome, including myofascial massage, myofascial foam rolling, soft-tissue smashing methods, and more. Some of the methods are done by a professional or help from others and some of the methods are things you can do for self myofascial release therapy.
How Can Myofascial Release Work For Me With Self Massage?
A very effective technique for myofascial release is to be able to do so from home, for yourself and by yourself, and comfortably help loosen yourself without needing an extra hand or tool at all is self massage. A major plus when it comes to self massage therapy is that it gives you the ability to very carefully pinpoint the exact location of important areas that aren’t quite as accessible through tools that you can use, like rollers and balls. One of the most loved aspects for those who self massage is that it allows for you to very closely feel and gauge the changes and releases that are happening as you work your muscles in your therapy. Find tissues that feel leathery and that can be a sign that you have already built up a bit of scar tissue under the skin and around muscles. Self-massage is actually better in some cases over other techniques, because you can get to those tricky areas, and a primarily place to be utilizing self massage in your myofascial release therapy is the shoulders, rotator cuff muscles, and bicipital groove tissues. If you’ve ever dealt with pain caused by those smaller tendons and muscles in your shoulder blades, then you know just how difficult it can be to get to those areas with balls, foam rollers, and other tools to help you in your myofascial release therapy journey.