Do you experience myofascial pain? It can show up in different ways and when it does, it can be excruciating! You have likely tried other treatments and they haven’t worked for you. In that case, myofascial release is something you should try.
Individuals who suffer from myofascial pain syndrome are curious to know how the release feels. In contrast, others may want to ensure they’re getting the right treatment.
Not all myofascial release is the same. That’s why myofascial release therapists go through a lot of classes and certifications. This type of “release” is a hands-on approach that will help you manage your pain and discomfort.
However, this is not the same as a light massage, and it can be a very strong sensation in most circumstances. Massage, kneading, and gentle stretching of your muscles and fascia will be performed by your therapist. Pressure is applied by the therapist’s hands mostly.
Before we get into myofascial release, you need to understand why you need it. Myofascial release is the solution to Myofascial Pain Syndrome (MPS), which is a chronic pain disorder that is due to tightness and sensitivity in the myofascial tissues or tightness that puts pressure on nerves and other pain sensitive structures.
What Does MPS Feel Like?
The common symptoms of MPS are:
- Persistent pain
- Aching pain that comes deep inside the muscle
- Worsening pain
- Muscle knots that are sensitive to touch
- Difficulty sleeping due to muscle pain and discomfort
What Does Myofascial Release Feel Like?
To know what a myofascial release feels like, you need to know the different types.
Myofascial Structural Release
This type of myofascial structural release gently presses into regions of constriction, tightness, or pain and then waits for the body to release. It is only suitable for dry skin, thus no oils or lotions should be used during the procedure.
This type of release is not forceful as it is only applied gently to reach the barrier of the tissue restriction. The first sensation you’ll get is a springing give that feels like a release. This is the tissue’s elastic component giving way, which means you stop there, you won’t see a long-term difference right away because it takes time to get deeper into the more plastic part of the tissue.
Your therapist can spend more time holding the pressure beyond three to five minutes to allow for the connective tissue to melt and lengthen. After five minutes, the body will start to produce a natural anti-inflammatory, which is the interleukin. It only happens when pressure is sustained and uninterrupted.
Untangling all those knots is what this form of myofascial release is like. Your therapist will assist you in reducing the effect of gravity on your body so that you can stretch and move for longer periods of time, allowing the unwinding to go deeper and free the body of stress and tension.
This myofascial release has a comparable sensation to being rocked by your mother when you were a baby. It causes a pleasant wave sensation to travel throughout the body. It is, in fact, a relaxing experience.
That wave infiltrates the restricted areas to allow for softening. With this therapy, every cell of your body can be reached. It’s also a great option to access and clear your bracing patterns that hang in your bodies due to the buildup of stress and trauma.
It’s natural to feel sore afterward, but when the soreness subsides, you’ll feel a lot looser and have less pain.
How Will Your Body Benefit From Myofascial Release?
Myofascial release can be done regularly. Doing so will help improve your range of motion, help your body relax overall, and improve your circulation. Moreover, this can help reduce soreness and help with the tissue recovery process. Finally, myofascial release helps with tension, knots, and stress.
Myofascial release can also treat these conditions:
- Carpal tunnel syndrome
- Migraines & headaches
- TMJ dysfunction
- Thoracic outlet syndrome
- Post-polio syndrome
- Post-surgical rehabilitation
- Vertigo or dizziness
- Menstrual or cervical pain
- Urinary incontinence
- Poor posture
Myosfascial release can also help with other complex pain issues that haven’t responded to treatment.
How To Keep Your Fascia Flexible
Your fascia might thicken and become sticky, causing muscle tension. When this happens, you may experience restricted mobility, which can lead to pain and tightness. The good news is that, in addition to therapist-assisted myofascial release, there are certain things you can do on your own to help yourself:
- Get Moving: Besides exercise, you need to keep moving throughout the day. This is crucial if you have a desk job. Take at least a few minutes every hour to stand up and move around. Doing so will help keep your fascia supple. If you can walk to meetings, a restaurant, or even your house, do it!
- Do Regular Stretches: Slumping over your desk may seem natural for you already, but this isn’t right. Always try to see a good posture while sitting or standing and make sure you do your stretches regularly.
Doing these things will keep your fascia flexible as much as possible.
When Not to Get Myofascial Release Therapy
Myofascial release has its risks as well; that’s why it’s not recommended for people who have burns, open wounds, fractures or deep vein thrombosis. Extra care will be taken if you have weak bones, or are on blood thinners.
What’s the Difference Between Myofascial Release and Massage Therapy?
Many confuse myofascial therapy with massage therapy. However, these therapies are not the same because each therapy has a different focus.
Massage therapy works to manipulate the soft tissue and muscles to relieve tension and stress. On the other hand, myofascial release follows your body, never forces, and works with connective tissues to eliminate tightness that causes muscle restrictions.
Another thing is, the type of touch involved in each therapy is different. Massage therapy involves a directed movement, while myofascial release uses sustained pressure to stretch and lengthen the fascia.
Finally, myofascial release therapy, as mentioned above, doesn’t require oils or lotions but a massage therapy does for that more gliding effect.