What is Myofascial Release Therapy?
Myofascial release (MFR) therapy is an alternative physical therapy that helps in the treatment of skeletal muscle immobility and pain by focusing on the release of muscular shortness and tightness. The fascia is a sheet of connective tissue that encloses muscles, covers underlying tissue, separates layers of tissue, and provides structural support for the skeletal system and soft tissues. The myofascial tissues are membranes that surround and support the muscles.
The main goal of MFR therapy is to stretch and loosen the fascia for it to move more freely along with other contiguous structures and therefore restoring the patient's range of motion. Patients who usually seek for MFR therapy are the ones who lost flexibility or function after an injury or pain associated with soft tissue. Symptoms of patients usually include:
- Tightness of the tissues
- Pain from excessive pressure on joints or muscles
- Pain from any parts of the body such as headache or back pain
How Does Myofascial Release Therapy Work?
MFR therapy uses very slow, deliberate techniques. The therapist applies moderate pressure into the area of pain and then waits for the piezoelectric response to kick in. Then, the fascia starts to shift and release. When this happens, several sensations can be felt in the area, which ranges from a tingling feeling to a fairly mild burning sensation. The client will never feel any shooting or excruciating pain. At any point during the session, you may tell the therapist to lighten the pressure if it's too much for you to take.
The mechanics of MFR will cause soreness as an inflammatory response in the system. It should be remembered that soreness is a normal response of the body to change.
What are the Benefits of Myofascial Release Therapy?
MFR therapy is a safe and super effective technique that involves manipulating the fascia and myofascial so that physical and energetic constrictions can be released and open areas that might be feeling stuck or resistant to any change.
The following are some benefits deemed to be gained from an MFR therapy session:
- Increased blood flow
- Reduced muscle soreness
- Maintained normal functional muscular strength
- Increased movement of the lymph
- Better range of motion
Additionally, patients with myofascial pain syndrome will definitely receive substantial benefits from this kind of therapy. MFR might be used for patients with venous insufficiency. Venous insufficiency occurs when blood pools start to stretch and eventually damage the veins of the leg. Gentle massages on the tightened muscles in and around the head and neck areas may help in reducing headaches. Other conditions that can be treated with myofascial release therapy are temporomandibular joint disorder, carpal tunnel syndrome, fibromyalgia and migraine.
MFR therapy has very few risks. This type of therapy is not ideal for people:
- With painful wounds, injuries, or burns
- With broken or fractured bones
- With weak or fragile bones
- With deep vein issues such as deep vein thrombosis
- Taking blood-thinning medications
What Can You Expect From Myofascial Release Therapy?
A typical treatment session lasts an hour to an hour and a half. Wear something loose and comfortable so that the therapist can easily access your body's problem areas. Before the treatment session begins, the therapist will assess your health and review your medical history.
During the treatment proper, the practitioner will employ different stretching techniques to soften the myofascial tissues. You may feel a tingling sensation or slight discomfort, which is normal as your body releases connective tissues that have been restricted in the fascial system for a long time.
After the treatment, drink at least two glasses of water to replenish the fluids in your body and reduce post-treatment soreness. In addition to receiving treatment twice a week for at least three months, performing the self-care exercises prescribed by your practitioner will ensure lasting results.