Just as your skin surrounds and supports your entire body, your fascia provides a second system of support, forming a web of tissue that encompasses your muscles, connective tissue, bones, nerves, blood vessels, and visceral organs, right down to the cellular level.
Healthy fascia is supple and elastic, providing support without restricting the underlying structures. However, when damaged, fascia can become rigid and inelastic, causing pressure and tension throughout your body. Fascial tension can be difficult to diagnose, as it does not appear on imaging scans like X-ray or MRI.
Tight fascia can restrict muscle function, creating movement deficiencies that can interfere with athletic performance and inhibit everyday activities. It can also become a source of chronic pain that keeps you from doing the things you love and reduces your overall quality of life. Myofascial release therapy (MFR) addresses the fascia surrounding your muscles and tendons, which can become overly tight for a variety of reasons, including disuse, overuse, or injury.
MFR therapy seeks to stretch overly tight fascia, with the goal of reducing pain and restoring function. Some conditions commonly treated with MFR therapy include:
Tight myofascial tissue can cause postural imbalances and joint misalignment by restricting movement in a particular area of your body, causing you to use one side of your body differently than the other. Over time, imbalanced fascial tension can lead to chronic pain syndromes and postural problems that are difficult to resolve.
There are two fundamental sources of myofascial pain. One stems from restricted movement of muscles and connective tissue that are bound by tight fascia. The other stems from damage to the fascial tissue itself, creating muscle knots, also known as trigger points. In both instances, blood flow to the affected tissue becomes inhibited, exacerbating the condition.
During MFR therapy, the therapist gently massages the muscle fascia to identify areas of tightness or stiffness. Healthy myofascial tissue will feel pliable and elastic beneath the therapist’s hands, while tense fascia will feel rigid. Once a tight area has been identified, the therapist will then apply a low load stretch to rigid areas using light manual pressure. As the fascia begins to stretch, pressure and tightness are released, and the tissue becomes pliable and elastic once again.
Because of the interconnectedness of bodily structures, the therapist may focus on a tight area that is nowhere near the area where the patient feels the most pain. MFR therapy addresses the entire network of muscles and fascia that may be causing your pain, reducing tension by releasing trigger points throughout your body.
If you suffer from headaches, TMJ syndrome, fibromyalgia or other chronic pain syndromes, the manual therapy specialists at NYDNRehab can help. We use advanced technologies and innovative therapies to get to the source of your pain and eliminate it. Contact NYDNRehab today and get rid of your pain for good, so you can live your life to its fullest.
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