What is Myofascial Release?


What is Fascia?

Fascia  is thin, durable, elastic connective tissue that encases almost all of the structures within the human body including muscles where it offers support and protection. According to the Osteopathic Theory, this tissue can become restricted due psychogenic disease, overuse, trauma, infections or inactivity. This can result in pain, muscle tension and even diminished blood flow to the affected areas (Spinaris, 2005).

What is Myofascial Release (MFR)?

Myofascial release is an alternative form of medicine that uses muscle relaxation of contractacted muscles to improve blood flow and lymphatic circulation by stimulating the stretch reflex in muscles with the goal of treating skeletal muscle immobility and pain (Spinaris, 2005).

How do I achieve MFR?

MFR can be achieved in numerous ways. This can come in the form soft tissue massage and mobilization. One could use foam rollers, lacrosse balls, golf balls, or even soft balls. After completing a MFR session, the individual to drink lots of water to help the circulatory system remove waste such as lactic acid from the treated areas (Junker & Stöggl 2015).

Who would benefit from MFR?

Everyone! From the average Joe to the stud athlete can benefit from MFR. According to a study conducted by the American College of Sports Medicine, self MFR has shown to decrease muscle soreness while improving muscle activation, and passive and dynamic range of motion (McDonald, Burton, Drinkwater & Behm, 2014).

My Recommendations:

With my holistic approach to training, I emphasize keeping your body happy. While we all know that exercise is good for us, we tend to forget to take steps in our recovery such as stretching and soft tissue work. Everyone can benefit from 10 minutes a day from soft tissue work to release the waste build up in our muscles and fascia from exercising. The increase blood flow from the treated areas allow for removal of that waste and allows us to properly recover, so we can get back gym full force.

Cited Sources:

  1. Graham Macdonald-Duane Button-Eric Drinkwater-David Behm – Medicine & Science in Sports & Exercise – 2014
  2. Junker D., & Stöggl T. (2015). The Foam Roll as a Tool to Improve Hamstring Flexibility. Journal of Strength and Conditioning Research.
  3. Spinaris T, DiGiovanna EL (2005). Chapter 12: Myofascial release. An Osteopathic Approach to Diagnosis and Treatment (3rd ed.). Lippincott Williams & Wilkins. pp. 80–82. ISBN 978-0-7817-4293-1.

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