Myofascial release: speed, agility, power
Sustained pressure to myofascial restrictions (“myofascial release”) can eliminate pain, restore movement and improve performance.
Studies of self-applied myofascial release have shown increased muscle flexibility, improved joint range of motion (ROM), less post-exercise fatigue and soreness, and reduced post-exercise recovery times. See here, here and here.
What is myofascia?
Fascia is the connective tissue that envelopes, isolates, protects and supports all the muscles and organs of the body. Traditionally overlooked, the importance of fascia as a sensory organ and as a transmitter of forces has recently been recognized. See here, here, and here.
Myofascia is muscles plus fascia.
What is a myofascial restriction?
Fascia shortens, solidifies and thickens in response to trauma. This ‘binding down’ can include connective adhesions within localized areas of fascia and between fascia and other tissue. Collectively these areas of distortion and deformation are referred to as ‘restrictions’.
What causes myofascial restrictions?
Injury or trauma, the body’s natural inflammatory processes and habitual poor posture (including over-training or over-use) are believed to be the primary causes of myofascial restrictions.
Why are myofascial restrictions important?
For practitioners of myofascial release, myofascial restrictions are a source of trauma, pain and restricted movement. In addition, a deformation or distortion in any one area can create negative stresses throughout a body’s fascial network or matrix.
How does myofascial release work?
There are a number of theories as to how myofascial release works. Sustained pressure to myofascia is thought to:
- Physically soften fascia.Think of tenderizing a piece of meat.
- Change the consistency of fascia. Think of warming a gel.
- Initiate a ‘re-boot’ of the brain and it’s perception and management of the affected area, including any perception of pain.
What does this mean for me?
As a therapy, sustained pressure to myofascia can be safe, affordable and effective. All you need to begin your self-treatment is a finger-tip or thumb. To those basic tools, we recommend you add a foam roll, a lacrosse ball and a TolaPoint!