Myofascial release massage specifically addresses tightness, soreness and pain associated with your body’s fascia. Your fascia is a web of connective tissue under your skin that attaches, stabilizes, and separates your muscles and other internal organs. It is a densely woven network of tissue that covers your entire body from head to toe. When functioning normally, fascia is able to stretch and move without causing restriction. When your fascia is injured or compromised in some way, it can become inflexible, which can cause tension throughout your entire body. This tension puts pressure on your muscles, bones, nerves and blood vessels, causing pain and a loss of mobility. Myofascial release techniques not only address the pain and stiffness, but work to reverse the damage to your fascia causing the pain in the first place.
The goal of myofascial release massage is to stretch and loosen your fascia so that it and your muscles, bones, etc. can move freely, eliminating pain and restoring mobility. This goal is achieved through a gentle use of pressure and sustained stretching of the affected area. Progress is measured by the reduction of pain and increased function and mobility. In some instances, myofascial release massage is beneficial prior to surgery or sports competitions, to help improve muscular and skeletal alignment.
Myofascial release massage includes applying sustained, slow, gentle traction and pressure on your skin at differing angles to facilitate stretching. The technique works to break up adhesions in your affected fascia and relax muscle spasms and stiffness. This is sometimes slightly uncomfortable, but the long-term benefits outweigh the short-term discomfort!
This type of massage is helpful if you’re experiencing a loss of flexibility or function after an injury, or if you’re dealing with ongoing pain in your back, shoulders, hips, or any other soft tissue area. Myofascial release massage is often used to treat conditions such as carpal tunnel syndrome, TMJ, migraines and fibromyalgia. Fascial pain can sometimes cause anxiety, depression, or insomnia, which can contribute to your overall pain levels, so it’s important to address the underlying cause of the pain as quickly as possible to avoid these side effects as much as possible.
If you’re experiencing any of the following symptoms or conditions, myofascial release might be a good option:
- Restricted motion or “pulling” from tissue tightness that causes you to favor and/or overuse one side of your body (shoulder, hip, etc.)
- Painful pressure on muscles or joints
- Any body pain including back pain or headaches.
- Bladder problems
- Birth injuries
- Bulging and/or herniated disc(s)
- Cerebral Palsy
- Cervical & Lumbar Injuries
- Chronic Fatigue Syndrome
- Degenerative Disc Disease
- Emotional Trauma
- Frozen Shoulder
- Plantar Fascitis
- Pudendal Nerve Entrapment
- Shin Splints
- Tennis Elbow
- TMJ syndrome
- Trigeminal Neuralgia