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  • Dr. Mark Freund

Myofascial Release: Therapy For Muscle Pain

myofascial therapy for pain relief

Myofascial release has become one of the most effective methods to prevent injury, reduce chronic pain, increase strength, and improve people’s quality of life with fibromyalgia and other muscle pain ailments. Studies have shown that this form of therapy is an effective method to treat fibromyalgia, increase blood flow, improve range of motion, and accelerate muscle recovery. It can also relieve chronic pain, improve sleep, reduce anxiety and depression, and improve muscle strength and muscle function in the lower back, neck, shoulders, hips, legs, arms, and feet.

What is Myofascial release?

Myofascial release is a manual therapy technique used to treat pain in the body’s musculoskeletal system and relieve stress and tension. It is a therapeutic technique that attempts to relieve pain by massaging and opening deep tissue of the nerve, muscles, tendons, ligaments, and cartilage. This therapy releases constricted muscles and fascia, increasing movement in some parts of the body by putting pressure on them.

physiotherapist doing chiropractic treatment

If you have myofascial pain caused by muscle irritation, you can benefit from myofascial release. The term "myofascial release" covers many different treatments, so it is important to clarify which specific therapy is being performed and how it will support your health. Some describe the technique as a deep tissue massage (myofascial release) that treats chronic pain and breaks down scar tissue so that muscles can move more freely. Trigger Point Release is a specific type of myofascial release technique that uses ischemic compression to bring blood flow to the muscles. Movement-based manual therapy can incorporate hand stretching to promote healing, relieve pain, and restore movement. It can help repair scar tissue, loosen muscle stiffness, increase blood flow, and reduce chronic and acute pain in patients with chronic musculoskeletal pain as well as acute and non-chronic pain.

Benefits of Myofascial Release Therapy

Myofascial release therapy can help if you want to improve your training performance, reduce pain, or achieve better structural alignment. Read through our review of the benefits and limitations of this treatment for muscle pain and pain management to determine how Myofascial release therapy can help.

  1. Helps eliminate chronic pain caused by the connective tissue’s limitations

  2. Improves the joints’ range of motion, relieves muscle tension, and reduce inflammation, by treating narrow areas, lumps, and pain in long ligaments of the muscle tissue.

  3. It is also known to relieve chronic headaches and migraines by releasing muscle tension in the head and neck.

  4. Supports and improves other treatments such as manual manipulation, physiotherapy, and occupational therapy to increase their effectiveness.

  5. It can help your body better process the effects of strain and stress, including the type that occurs during exercise or strength training.

Can Myofascial Release Help With Back Pain?

Lower back pain can result from various structural ailments, such as osteoarthritis, osteoporosis, spinal cord injury, arthritis, and other conditions. Some are easier to diagnose than others, such as compressed nerves, a herniated disc, or spinal cord injury. In contrast, others included more nebulous symptoms such as headaches or migraines, requiring further assessment to assign the right treatment.

myofascial therapy for back pain

Many treatment options are available depending on the underlying cause and severity of your back pain. The most effective treatment is likely a combination of myofascial therapy and other manual therapies, including acupuncture. Combined therapies can significantly alleviate lower back pain, which is why our practice incorporates a variety of natural healing techniques. Used in combination to eliminate the pain that the muscles in your lower back, your therapist may apply myofascial release therapy as part of your routine to prevent new or repeat issues in the lower back.

Exercise is also crucial in pain management, especially for people with back pain. An exercise program from your physician can help reduce recurrent pain and improve joint and fascia mobility. Stabilization exercises using a ball, for example, are used for elderly patients with chronic back pain and patients with other types of pain. Common modalities include yoga, pilates, cross-country skiing, running, cycling, hiking, and swimming.

How Myofascial release therapy works

The purpose of the myofascial release is to relieve tension in the stiffened muscles. A chiropractor treats pain by first identifying the cause of the pain and addressing the problem with natural pain management techniques such as acupuncture, manual therapy, and other physical therapies. Practitioners who specialize in myofascial release gently use a method called ‘trigger point therapy,’ which involves applying pressure to the muscles by gently exerting sustained pressure on the problem area to loosen adhesions and smoothen the fascia. Trained chiropractors, osteopathy doctors, or osteoarthritis doctors use myofascial therapy to alleviate the spine’s trigger points.

myofascial release therapy

Addressing the pain in the connective tissue in a variety of areas helps those in pain find relief. Since it is quite challenging to pinpoint pain to a specific trigger point, chiropractors use myofascial release to cover the broad networks of muscle tissue that play a role in that pain, rather than any one trigger point. Therefore, the treated location may not be exactly where you feel the pain but will ultimately address the issue. Besides myofascial release therapy, your physiotherapist can use heat, electrical stimulation, or ultrasound to release trigger points. If you are a candidate for myofascial release, the therapist will help you fully understand your treatments and identify which areas require additional treatment.

It is essential to ask your chiropractor what type of treatment is most likely to reduce stress and heal injuries by walking them through any pain or physical trauma you have experienced. If you think you could benefit from myofascial release therapy, or if you are just curious to know more, please contact Natural Care Chiropractic for more information on the benefits and limitations of this treatment for muscle pain and pain management.

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