Myofascial release is a form of manual therapy that is focused on working with the connective tissue in our body called fascia. Fascia is a soft-tissue component that covers and surrounds nearly every structure within our body. Fascia can become thickened, or “bound-up”, especially in areas of overuse, were previously injured, or went through surgery. When an area of fascia becomes injured, it heals and protects itself by laying down increased fibers, called scar tissue. Scar tissue formation causes pain and tightness, decreased range of motion, and can lead to musculoskelatal imbalances within the human movement system, causing further complications or injuries.
Myofascial release is used to work through these fascial adhesions in order to relieve pain, tightness, increase range of motion, as well as providing re-alignment and balance throughout the body. It is performed using little, or no lotion/oil. The process involves slow, sustained, gentle stretching techniques to the fascial tissue.
A trained therapist may provide you with “self-myofascial release” techniques you can perform at home in order to help sustain the effects of the massage treatment. One of the most popular techniques is with the use of a foam roller, or myofascial trigger point ball.