• Dr. Mark Freund

The Best Myofascial Release Techniques


myofascial release

Myofascial release therapy is a hands-on procedure that involves gently applying sustained pressure on this soft tissue called fascia to help increase fascial mobility and reduce the pain of the musculoskeletal system. Myofascial Release Therapy is one of the most effective chiropractic techniques for the restoration of the fascia. During the fascial release, gentle pressure is applied to the connective tissue (fascia).


What is Fascia?

Fascia is the structure of the connective tissue that is located under the skin and the surrounding muscles, blood vessels, nerves, bones, ligaments, and tendons. Fascia also forms large sheaths around the whole body and looks like spider webs. These Fascia sheaths are embedded in skin, bones, joints, tendons, muscles, ligaments, and other body parts. In healthy conditions, the fascia tissue is in a relaxed, wavy configuration.


physical therapist applying myofascial therapy

The fascia tissue is an important connective tissue that can be damaged and scarred by trauma, overuse, inflammation, and lack of movement. Treatment with myofascial release helps to stimulate nerve receptors in skeletal muscle tissue and increase tissue elasticity. The soft tissues of the body can be restricted by injury, overuse, or inactivity and can lead to pain, tension, and reduced blood flow. Fascia, like many other systems in the body, is adaptable and responds to stress, but they do not have to be stressed as much as other parts of the body.

Manual therapists use myofascial release to treat many diseases, and it is a slow but effective method to relieve the symptoms of fascia discomfort.


Physiological Effects of Myofascial release

Myofascial release is one of the most important aspects of manual therapy, and it can have many important physiological effects on the body. It is applied where mobility is restricted by the facial tissue, such as in the neck, back, shoulders, hips, knees, ankles, and feet. The myofascial restriction creates pressure and pain in this delicate structure, and the fascia system may be unsupported if the movement is to increase pain. Myofascial release helps to recognize this limitation and can facilitate the release of the fascia. Myofascial release helps to reduce pain and treats the painful area by breaking restrictions, relieving tightness, and relieving pain. It helps to release restrictive tissues such as scar tissue and increases the blood flow and temperature of the soft tissue, which can also help relieve pain. Myofascial release exerts pressure to change the fiber length, increase the blood circulation of soft tissues, reduce inflammation, and increases the fiber temperature. With increased blood flow, more nutrients enter the tissue and waste products can be removed. Increased tissue elasticity prevents adhesion restrictions and allows more movement in the fascia tissue.

physical therapist treating muscle pain

How Does Myofascial Therapy Work?

If you have had pain that does not subside after training, or if you feel exhausted after training, you may have over-trained or behaved inappropriately. Working through pain will cause your body to compensate for areas where you’re lacking. This puts a tremendous amount of strain on other muscles and joints, which can lead to varying (and seemingly unrelated) injuries.

After an injury, scar tissue can form that can restrict fascia movement and cause pain. Myofascial release helps to loosen the scar tissue and restore the normal function of the tissue. Applying a technique known as myofascial release can relieve and even prevent pain. This ensures that you’re able to stay on the go. However, this is only short-term, and it is important to treat the pain in such a way that it does not result in injury down the line.


The treatment with Myofascial release is performed directly on the skin. The myofascial release technique is different from other modalities as the physician uses kneading and stroking movements. On the other hand, the therapist lets his hand slide under the recipient’s skin, and the manual therapist or physiotherapist trained in myofascial release will try to locate and release restricted connective tissues. This allows the therapist to accurately recognize fascia limitations and apply the appropriate pressure to facilitate the release of the fascia.


The procedure usually lasts for about 30-60 minutes and can release muscle tension which can be quite painful and cause additional health issues. This therapeutic practice is ideal if you have tense, tired muscles or sleep in an uncomfortable position. The physiotherapist, who is trained in myofascial release, maintains pressure in the target area for three to five minutes. This pressure is supposed to relieve the connective tissue’s limitations so that you have a greater range of motion and fewer chances of pain. The fibers must be given sufficient time to stretch and soften.


Myofascial release is slow and precise and is often used as relaxation techniques. It involves gentle but persistent pressure that prolongs the fascial adhesives so that the tissue can regain its correct alignment. The movement causes the skin to stretch, and the fascia underneath releases the fluid between the layers of tissue.

myofascial release procedure

The slow movement of myofascial release through the skin can stimulate the parasympathetic nervous system. The nervous system controls emotions and creates a sense of calm. However, it can also cause pain and discomfort. The key is to keep the pressure as long as possible, even if the muscle or bone is surrounded by specific connective tissue or fascia. It can also combat pain in the connective tissue, although some people do not feel peaceful because sometimes, they become sore after the release of muscle nodules.


A myofascial release is a good option if you notice persistent pain that does not dissolve even after adequate rest. If your muscles are sore from sitting at a desk all day or from your training, Manual muscle manipulation can relieve some of the tension needed to get rid of knots and help you feel better.


Myofascial Release Benefits

Many patients seek myofascial treatment because they have lost flexibility and function after an injury or have chronic pain such as arthritis, fibromyalgia, back pain, or arthritis. Some examples of pain that have been treated with myofascial release therapy include back, neck, shoulder, hip, knee, ankle, wrist, arm, leg, hand, and foot. There are a growing number of studies showing the benefits of myofascial release and how manual therapists use it to combat many diseases. Let’s take a look at the most common applications for chronic pain and pain management.


Relieving Fascial Tension

One of the advantages of myofascial release is the reduced tension in the fascia tissue. Tension in this tissue becomes a restrictive barrier and causes tightness and pain. Direct myofascial release helps relieve constipation and adhesion in the fascia area. It helps to mobilize the adhesives in this tissue, stretches and lengthens the fascia, contributes to an increase in movement, and helps to mobilize the adhesive tissue. After an injury, fascia, tissue and muscles can shorten and begin to restrict joint movement and blood flow. Techniques used in Myofascial therapy provide muscle relaxation to help release muscle tension and reduce fibrous adhesions. It also helps to regain freedom of movement in the joint. Myofascial release can be applied to other parts of the body as well and is useful to reduce pain and tightness in soft tissues.


Treating Myofascial Pain

treating myofascial pain

Myofascial trigger points can cause pain. Triggers are known to be the hyperirritable points in the soft tissues. Myofascial pain causes discomfort and impairs the movement of muscles. Myofascial release helps to reduce pain by releasing trigger points, improving blood circulation, loosening restrictions, and reducing pain.


Fibromyalgia, Chronic Pain and Other Conditions

Studies have also shown that it is effective in the treatment of fibromyalgia, improving the range of motion, speeding up muscle recovery, relieving chronic back pain, improving sleep, reducing anxiety and depression, and improving quality of life.


There are many benefits of myofascial release, and some of them go beyond the physical and mental health alone. The benefits can include relief of lower back and neck pain, muscle relaxation, muscle recovery, decreased pain, decreased fascia tension, and increased movement. It also promotes relaxation and helps in the treatment of acute pain after an injury as well as in the recovery from chronic pain.


Where to Seek Treatment?

The most common form of manual therapy used at Natural Care Chiropractic is Myofascial Release. It involves gentle but sustained pressure on the painful area without using oils and machines. If you have a muscle knot on the back, shoulders, or other parts of the body, Myofascial Release is one of the most effective solutions to eliminate muscle pain.


Contact us today to learn more or schedule an appointment if you want to assess how you can benefit from this type of physical therapy.


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