Myofascial Release is a form of soft tissue therapy intended for pain relief, increasing your range of motion and balancing the body.
There are now lots of articles online, raving about pain relief using this technique, and many more on how you can treat yourself.
In America, sufferers are doing ‘self-myofascial release (foam rolling)’ using a lacrosse ball and foam to roll out trigger points. They say, ‘it can help reduce muscle soreness, increase mobility, and prevent problems created by tightness and poor tissue quality like plantar fascists, sciatica, and more.”
It is a scientific fact that all muscles and their fibrous coating and connective tissue that joins muscles to bones, the fascia, are a source of pain if the functionality is changed by an accident or normal wear and tear/degeneration. Muscles may develop Myofascial ‘tender spots’ or ‘Trigger Points’. These Trigger Points are not only painful where they are found, but may also send pain away from that spot, to what is called Referred pain.
All the body’s 600 plus muscles have an area in the muscle that is tender to pressure. There are YouTube videos, showing you how to lie on your foam roller to release your tight spine. This technique is gaining popularity every day and has become very popular among athletes and serious fitness enthusiasts. I’ve had a number of treatments and there is no question that it does release the taut muscles which then release pain, but the relief did not last long enough for me. I wasn’t expecting miracles to happen but I was hoping for longer pain relief.
According to the F Word UK Style London’s Fitness elite are flexing their fascia. At Triyoga, myofascial release specialist Suzanne Waterworth uses her feet to feel out kinks in the layers of your fascia, followed by a hands-on resistance stretch, during which she actively reconditions the fascia. ‘Resistance stretching is similar to when you yawn and stretch in the morning,’ she surmises. ‘You tense your muscles first and move through that tension, engaging the fascia and not just pulling on it.’
For something more active, there’s the RX class at Equinox: a self-myofascial massage prehabilitation on the gym floor designed to eliminate pain, improve posture and enhance performance. At Moving Stretch at Breathe London’s Covent Garden studio, meanwhile, you can also work the fascia via resistance stretch movements, which surprisingly is harder work than it sounds. And if you’re a Pilates fan, sign up to the Melt Method — a workshop being held in October in Camden that applies fascial science to your Pilates mat.
The National Association of Myofascial Trigger Point Therapists is a good place to start to find a qualified therapist and a good book on the subject is ‘Myofascial Release: Your Guide to Myofascial Release with a Tennis Ball’ by Merl Buchreich. and the UK site Myofascial Release UK has lots of information on it.