Myofascial release: what is it and what are its benefits

Myofascial release relieves pain after injury. It is based on manual massages that stimulate the affected area and achieve the movement of muscle fasciae that are under the skin.

Also known as myofascial induction and it is applied by physiotherapists or masseurs to regain the functionality of the tissues. It affects directly the locomotor system and extends to the rest of the body, calming the discomfort through pressure and stretching.

What is myofascial release?

Before explaining the technique it is necessary to know what a fascia is. It is the tissue that surrounds muscles, nerves, blood vessels, lymphatics and viscera, in addition to connecting the organs allowing biomechanical activity.

According to an article published in the Cuban Journal of Biomedical Research, myofascia facilitates mobility, cellular circulation, and tissue elasticity in the face of spasms due to stress, injury, and inactivity. This leads to pain points that, if not addressed, would be chronic.

Faced with this diagnosis, specialists appeal to myofascial release therapies, because mechanically activate tissue to release tension and calm the discomfort, both in the specific area and in remote areas.

Pressures are sustained and light, as is stretching and movement. The goal is to remove functional restrictions thanks to the stimulation of collagen and its properties.

The fasciae cover muscles and organs giving a sense of unity to the structures, by connecting through soft tissues.

See also: Do ​​your joints hurt? These could be the causes!

Parts of the body that are treated with the technique

Myofascial induction serves to manage the numbness of parts that remains fixed for a long time or that we use frequently, such as the head, jaw, neck, quads, arms, back, hips, feet, and calves.

It happens that many joint or muscle pain are the result of injuries, busyness or the rhythm of life. Similarly, they are associated with physiological movements that go unnoticed, such as lung expansion when we breathe.

With it fibromyalgia, low back pain, migraines, tendinitis, post-traumatic and postsurgical scars, stiffness due to neurological affectations, whiplash and chronic prostatitis are treated. Anyway, not a first-line approach. It should always be a therapeutic complement to the specific medical prescription.

Benefits of myofascial release

The biggest benefit is optimal body mobility, due to relaxation at trigger points. The technique keeps the body in good condition, there is better circulation and toxins are eliminated via the lymphatic ducts.

Other benefits of myofascial release are the following:

  • Relax completely the body.
  • The locomotor system recovers its functionality.
  • Alleviates discomfort of pathologies such as rheumatoid arthritis, lupus and scleroderma.
  • Balances the musculoskeletal system.
  • Expand the range of movement.
  • Minimize tension and stress.

With fascial release therapies, relief is global. For this reason it is used as a complement to sports warm-ups along with the technique foam roller. They also offer it in physiotherapy rooms.

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Contraindications of myofascial release

Before the sessions, the expert evaluates the patient to determine the exercises. But not everyone is a candidate for this treatment.

It is contraindicated in those who take anticoagulants or suffer from metabolic conditions, fractures, aneurysms and osteoporosis. Nor is it used if there are open wounds, burns, fever, infectious diseases or pregnancy.

In addition to physiotherapy centers, myofascial release can be performed at home with simple methods, always guided by a connoisseur of the subject. Although there are tutorials online, the right thing to do is to have a professional.

How do you do a session?

The sessions do not exceed 1 hour and consist of the steps explained below:

  1. Assessment: It is the static and dynamic test of the patient to verify the state of the fascial system and specify the alterations.
  2. Heating: with the fingers, palms and elbows the physiotherapist, masseuse or chiropractor prepares the fascia.
  3. Stretching: They are long, smooth, sustained manual movements that stretch and release the fascia without forcing it.

The techniques are superficial or deep. The former include J-slides that increase skin movement, transverse fiber slides, and longitudinal slides made with the fingers, elbows, or knuckles.

On the other hand, the deep ones are exerted in transverse planes, with crossed hands and in a craniosacral direction, that is, from the head to the feet.

The complementary use of foam roller it is highly versatile, since there are various movements with the object.

What to keep in mind about myofascial induction

Myofascial induction it is most effective when combined with neurodynamics, osteopathy and global postural re-education. The physical therapist will know which ones are ideal for your condition.

It also establishes the number of sessions according to the tension evidenced by the fascia, pain, and trigger points. The frequent is a weekly and 6 in total. Each therapy lasts 1 hour, but if the pain is extreme it may reach 3.

For greater efficiency it is advisable to drink plenty of water. In the same way, remember that tensions or pain are not caused only by injuries; emotions, stress, and trauma are also treated with this method.

East it is not an aesthetic treatment not much less massages to shape the figure. Whoever applies it has to have the knowledge and carry it out in specialized clinics.