What is Myofascia?

Fascia or myofascia is the dense, tough tissue which surrounds and covers all of your muscles and bones. This outer fascial covering is very strong and very flexible. In fact, it has a tensile strength of over 2000 pounds.

Under a microscope, myofascia resembles a spider web or fish net. It is very organized and very flexible in a healthy state. myofascia can best be described as a complete body suit which runs from the top of your head down to the bottom of your toes. It is continuous, has no beginning or end and can be found almost everywhere in your body. Like yarn in a sweater the entire body is connected to every other part of the body by the fascia. It is a continuous weave of material. And, like a pull in a sweater, damage to an area of fascia can effect other distant areas in your body even years later.

In the normal healthy state the fascia is relaxed and soft. It has the ability to stretch and move without restriction. When you experience physical trauma or inflammation the fascia loses its pliability. It can become tight, restricted and a source of tension throughout the rest of the body. Trauma such as a fall, whiplash, surgery or habitual poor posture has a cumulative effect over time and myofascial release can help.

In a healthy body fascia helps to maintain good posture, range of motion and flexibility. It also gives our bodies tremendous strength and helps us deal with stress and injuries.

A example of fascia would be when you remove the skin from a chicken breast, that white filmy tissue underneath the skin is fascia, and in a living state is very strong.

Diagram of FasciaTo summarize, fascia is like a superficial body suit which allows us to move freely, breath properly and perform our daily tasks pain-free. It spans the whole body and is totally connected as one piece of material. It is called "the tissue of movement".  And one of the more effective treatments is Myofascial Release.

When fascia is damaged or traumatized it can become too tight and cause a number of problems such as:

  • Headaches
  • Muscle pain and spasms
  • Chronic back and neck pain
  • Recurring injuries
  • Sciatica
  • Breathing difficulties
  • Sensations such as numbness and pins and needles
  • Poor posture and reduced flexibility

Things that can cause this once flexible tissue to become too tight are:

Diagram of Causes of Tight Fascia

  • Inflammation
  • Traumas, such as a fall or car accident
  • Work injuries
  • Poor posture
  • Lack of stretching such as prolonged sitting or standing
  • Emotional/psychological stress
  • Repetitive motions, such as factory work or keyboarding

However, there is a treatment that can effectively treat this tough, tight fascial tissue making it more relaxed, pliable and soft.

It is called Myofascial Release

Myofascial Release is an effective hands-on therapy which can directly change and improve health of the fascia. The purpose of Myofascial Release is to break down scar tissue, relax the muscle and fascia and restore good posture.

The techniques of Myofascial Release are used focus on relaxing the deep tissue of the body, providing lasting and effective relief to the client.

Diagram of Areas of use for Myofascial ReleaseMyofascial Release has been used effectively for:

As mentioned, Myofascial Release is a hands-on technique is applied directly on the body and uses slow and sometimes deep pressure to restore the proper health of the fascia.

  • Low back pain
  • Headaches
  • Neck stiffness
  • Shoulder injuries
  • Arthritic conditions
  • Sports injuries
  • Plus many more

What does a Myofascial Release treatment feel like?

The pressureused in  can range from very gentle touch to deeper pressure. The pressure from Myofascial Release should never be beyond your tolerance and it is important to give feedback to your practitioner during the treatment.

Some patients receiving a Myofascial Release treatment may experience a slight tingling or burning sensation in the skin, which is perfectly normal and safe. Others may feel a gentle to deep stretch on the area being treated.

The treatment of Myoofascial Release can last from 15 minutes to over an hour. It is performed by a qualified practitioner who has studied this advanced work.

These Myofascial Release techniques help to reorganize and lengthen the tight tissue allowing for better movement and health.

Myofascial Release was specifically designed to relax the fascia throughout the whole body. And because tension in fascia can affect and cause pain in other areas, your Myofascial Release therapist may treat other areas of the body to positively effect your treatment outcome. For example, your practitioner may work on the hips and low back to help reduce tension in the neck which in turn can cause headaches. This is the benefit of a whole body approach that makes Myofascial Release such an effective treatment.

Photo of Myofascial Release Technique

Because each patient is different the number of Myofascial Release treatments required may vary, however a general rule is that you should notice a change in your condition with the application of myofascial release. Your practioner will discuss your treatment plan and projected outcome with you during your first session.

To conclude, Myofascial Release is a very effective treatment program that can significantly improve many soft tissue and orthopedic conditions. To see if Myofascial Release is right for you please contact your local practitioner or Medical Doctor.

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