Myofascial Release: Unleashing the Power of Soft Tissue Therapy in Physiotherapy

Myofascial Release: Unleashing the Power of Soft Tissue Therapy in Physiotherapy

Myofascial Release in Physiotherapy

Holly had been struggling with chronic pain for nearly a year. It often felt as if her entire body ached, and she frequently found that her joints were stiff, making it difficult for her to complete household chores, go to work, or spend time with friends. But then she learned about myofascial release in physiotherapy–and her world opened up again.

When Holly’s physiotherapist first explained myofascial release to her, she thought it sounded like a massage. And while her therapists did use massage-like techniques, such as gentle manipulation of her soft tissue over her skin, it wasn’t as painful as Holly expected. In fact, she found it quite relaxing–and effective, as she noticed reduced pain and restriction levels after her sessions.

The physiotherapists at MSK Health and Performance Clinics often include myofascial release when treating various conditions, such as herniated discs, muscle strains, or osteoarthritis. Its gentle approach makes it an ideal voice for helping our patients manage their pain as they prepare to begin more vigorous treatment.

Want to find out if myofascial release in physiotherapy is the right treatment option for you? Call our Vancouver clinic to speak to our friendly staff!

What is Myofascial Release?

Your fascia is a web of strong, flexible connective tissue woven throughout your body, wrapping and protecting your bones, nerves, organs, arteries, and muscles. Every part of your body is connected thanks to your fascia.

When your fascia is healthy, it moves with you. But if something goes wrong in your body, your fascia restricts, becoming tight and less flexible. Given the connective nature of your fascia, this leads to widespread pain.

The “myo-” in “myofascia” means “muscle,” so the term refers specifically to the fascia surrounding your muscles. Myofascial release, then, is the process of “releasing” the tight muscle fascia using a hands-on technique similar to massage.

During myofascial release, the therapist focuses on identifying adhesions, areas of restrictions, or tight knots in the fascia that restrict your mobility and cause pain throughout your body (and not just at the point where they’re located, either). By working out these restrictions , your therapist can help you find pain relief.

Myofascial Release’s Role In Physiotherapy

Our therapists utilize myofascial release whenever a patient is suffering from myofascial restriction. Several conditions can cause this restriction, including the following:

  • Chronic pain, including myofascial pain syndrome and fibromyalgia
  • Osteoarthritis, plantar fasciitis, and other conditions caused by inflammation
  • Carpal tunnel syndrome
  • Strains in the muscles or tendons
  • Post-surgical rehabilitation
  • Migraines and headaches

We typically incorporate myofascial release into a comprehensive treatment plan. For many injuries and conditions, it’s crucial at the early stages of rehabilitation, where it can help reduce pain and promote mobility, preparing your body for therapeutic exercise or specialized strength, balance, or functional training.

Myofascial release also promotes relaxation and helps reduce stress, two often overlooked factors in physiotherapy! Because the technique focuses on the fascia rather than digging deep into the muscles, it’s a good choice for people with chronic pain, as it can be less intense than other forms of massage (although you may still experience some discomfort).

Myofascial Release in Physiotherapy: What to Expect

The MSK Health and Performance Clinics team will begin with a comprehensive exam to help us better understand your symptoms and underlying condition. We’ll take a complete health history and conduct simple screens to check your strength, mobility, potential biomechanical issues, and more.

During the myofascial release sessions, we’ll first work to identify areas in your body where the tissue feels tight or knotted. We’ll then gently massage the tightness using a slow, even pressure, working to elongate your myofascial tissue. While myofascial release is typically a hands-on technique, we sometimes incorporate tools, such as a massage ball.

Our physiotherapists will always work to make the process as comfortable as possible for you. However, because myofascial release involves manipulating tender points on the body, you may experience some mild discomfort during the process, as well as soreness afterward. But know that as the soreness fades, your muscles will feel looser and more mobile.

For myofascial release to be most effective, you’ll need to have regular sessions–typically one to three days over the course of a few months, depending on your specific condition.

Experience the Benefits for Yourself: Book an Appointment Today!

Myofascial release in physiotherapy is an effective means of managing pain and muscle restriction for various conditions. If you’re struggling with persistent pain, call the team at MSK Health and Performance Clinics to schedule an appointment. We’ll let you know if myofascial release is the right choice for you!


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