Myofascial release therapy is a direct-contact massage technique that targets the myofascial tissues, which connect the body’s muscles. Our expert massage therapists gently and effectively work to release the tension and flexibility of the myofascial tissues, leaving you feeling refreshed and relaxed. When you experience tightness or pain in your body or near your muscles, you might be experiencing myofascial pain. That tightness in your myofascial tissue will only get worse and spread over time if not treated. Myofascial release therapy alleviates stiffness and pain. Best of all, it can begin to work in just one appointment!
What Is Myofascial Release Treatment?
During a treatment session, your massage therapist will begin by gently massaging the myofascial tissue, searching for stiffness or tightness along with the muscles. When knots or tight spots are found, the massage therapist will apply sustained, light pressure to the stiff areas (also known as trigger points) before releasing the pressure, and with it, some of the built-up tension. The massage therapist will repeat this process multiple times until the tension in the trigger point is fully released.
Keep in mind that a trigger point might not be the same as the location of your pain! With soft tissues like fascia, tight spots can often cause us to feel pain in other areas. As a result, release in one area can cause release in related regions of the body.
The Benefits of Myofascial Release
Because myofascial tension can reach throughout the entire body, the results of myofascial release can be surprisingly noticeable. After myofascial release, you should feel a reduction or alleviation of pain in your muscles due to eliminating knots in the tissues and trigger points. You may even feel a release of tension in areas of the body where you weren’t aware tension was being stored.
Other benefits of myofascial release include an improvement in mobility and flexibility. You’ll be able to resume physical activity without discomfort or pain. You might also notice an improvement in muscle function and an overall reduction in exercise-related soreness. You’ll be able to lift weights or go to the gym without feeling as stiff or restrained. Overall, a myofascial release treatment should leave you feeling relaxed, rejuvenated, and agile.
To help prolong the benefits of myofascial release, you should remember to stretch after physical activity. You can also book follow-up appointments and consult with your massage therapist about any new tension or pain if it returns.
Myofascial Release FAQs
What is fascia?
Fascia is the Latin word for “band.” Fascia is a fibrous, woven tissue beneath the skin. Fascia is found across the entire body, holding together, enclosing, and separating all the muscles and internal organs. Fascia can be thought of like a fine netting or a sweater that keeps our internal body structure in place.
What is the difference between myofascial tissue and fascia?
While fascia is the network of connective tissue covering the body, linking together all the muscles and organs, myofascial tissue is specifically the tissue that connects the muscles.
What causes myofascial pain?
Myofascial tissue is part of the wonderfully complex fascia structure in the body. When healthy, this fibrous connective tissue is supple, smooth, flexible, and wavy in texture. When the myofascial tissue becomes unhealthy, it becomes tight and sticky, causing moderate discomfort to intense pain. You might feel pain or discomfort in a local area, but that doesn’t mean the injury isn’t more widespread. Because myofascial and fascia are an extensively knitted network of tissues, the tension in one area can cause damage or strain in other areas without causing a specific sensation.
Myofascial pain is usually the result of repetitive muscle contractions or stress-related tension, which can result from various causes, including:
- Inflammatory response
- Trauma or injury
- Chronic stress
- Repetitive movements
- Poor posture
- Lifestyle choices
- Chronic stress
Who is a candidate for myofascial release?
Myofascial release is an ideal treatment option for anyone suffering from myofascial pain syndrome, but others can also benefit from this specialized treatment. Individuals suffering from chronic headaches may find that targeted release on the muscles and soft tissue surrounding the head and neck will relieve their pain.
Myofascial release combined with other treatments may also help individuals with a moderate amount of venous insufficiency. Since massage is not recommended for anyone with deep vein thrombosis or other deep vein issues, you should consult your health care provider before booking an appointment if you have either of these conditions.
If you’re unsure whether myofascial release therapy is suitable for you, reach out to us to learn more. We’re happy to respond to all of your questions about myofascial release and any other type of massage therapy.
What are the risks of myofascial release?
While the risks of myofascial release treatment applied with massage are very low, massage is not an ideal treatment for everyone.
Individuals should not book a myofascial release or massage treatment if they:
- Have burns or open wounds
- Have fractured or broken bones
- Have fragile or weak bones
- Have deep vein thrombosis or other serious venous issues
- Are taking blood-thinning medication
If you’re unsure whether massage therapy or myofascial release is an ideal treatment for you, reach out to us directly for more information.
What can I do at home to help between appointments?
Regular yoga or stretching can help to loosen up your muscles and the surrounding myofascial tissue. Drinking lots of water to stay hydrated. Hydration aids the elasticity of the myofascial tissue, preventing tension from building up. Sitting in a sauna can also help relax your body and relieve tension. Check out our infrared sauna in St. Albert!