Myofascial release (MFR) is one of many hands-on techniques an occupational therapist can use to help relieve pain and increase flexibility. Safe and very effective, this technique takes little time and, when combined with other chiropractic treatments, can make a big difference for many people. Here’s what you need to know about myofascial release, courtesy of Lubbock Advanced Physical Medicine, in Lubbock, TX.
The Anatomy of Myofascial Release
Fascia is the medical term for the covering over all of the body’s internal structures. In the same way the skin covers the body, the fascial system is a continuous structure. It is a very densely woven substance, tight-fitting but flexible. The term myofascial has to do specifically with the fascia covering muscles. There are no lab tests to check for myofascial restrictions, and it does not show up on X-rays or other imaging studies. However, tight fascia can exert as much as 2,000 pounds per square inch of pressure on various body structures, which is why it can cause significant pain.
How Myofascial Release Works
Normal, healthy fascia is elastic and pliable; trauma (physical and emotional) can cause the fascia to lose that flexibility. Tight fascia affects posture, balance, and mobility, and results in pain. Direct pressure on the fascia covering muscles can promote better circulation and allow tight muscles, ligaments, and fascia to stretch. MFR is accomplished by our occupational therapist exerting direct pressure on the fascia, usually with thumbs or fingers, and sometimes with a handheld tool. MFR is not the same as massage, although some of the techniques may seem similar. A occupational therapist who is experienced in MFR may use both techniques, however.
Conditions Myofascial Release Can Help
Our occupational therapist's goal is to help people by relieving pain and restoring full mobility without pain. While musculoskeletal problems such as back pain, headaches, and joint pain often respond to MFR and chiropractic adjustment, other conditions may also benefit from this technique. For example, babies can suffer birth trauma, especially with a forceps delivery. Carpal tunnel syndrome may also respond to this treatment, as does bursitis – an inflammation of the fluid-filled sacs around joints. Children with cerebral palsy typically have very tight, spastic muscles and tight fascia. MFR can often help loosen the tightness, although it does not offer a cure.
Make an Appointment with Our Occupational Therapist
If you have suffered trauma from an auto accident, especially whiplash, or have pain when you try to move your extremities, it could be from tight fascia. Treatment can help relieve pain and restore mobility. Please contact Lubbock Physical Medicine at (806) 791-3399 to make an appointment for an assessment and recommendations. Located at 2230 Indiana Avenue in Lubbock, TX, we offer pain management, massage therapy, rehabilitation, and many other services. We also have extended hours to meet your scheduling needs.