Myofascial Release Exercise for Relief from Chronic Pain
If you are suffering from chronic pain and conventional treatments are not working for you, myofascial release can help. Learn more about the differences between fascia and muscles and how the technique can also be used at home!
What is Fascia?
The easiest visual way to explain fascia is this: Picture the white, translucent skin on a piece of chicken. Fascia is connective tissue that surrounds your muscles and the areas between your bones. This connective tissue is there to allow muscles to glide gently over bones.
Trauma and autoimmune disease can cause this fascia to become dry, form adhesions and clump together. This causes unusual pulling and tugging on the muscles and trigger points, resulting in chronic pain.
What is Myofascial Release?
Myofascial release is a form of massage and stretching, which uses continued pressure and manipulation to release tension in the fascia.
How Can Myofascial Release Help with Chronic Pain?
Often chronic muscle pain is actually the result of damaged fascia. This can occur because of a car accident, sports injury or other physical trauma. Conventional medical treatments rely on pain-relieving drugs that may mask the symptoms but never get to the cause of the problem.
Myofascial release, on the other hand, works at the root of the problem over the course of weeks or months to gently correct the cause of the pain.
Does it Work for Fibromyalgia and Chronic Fatigue Syndrome?
Those suffering with fibromyalgia and chronic fatigue syndrome often experience widespread pain throughout their bodies. This may not be due to muscle pain as previously though, but rather fascia pain.
According to a study, fibromyalgia patients given myofascial release treatments over the period of 20 weeks enjoyed less pain and improved quality of sleep. Anxiety and depression were also notably diminished.
Where Can I Get Treatments?
Myofascial release is commonly performed by physical therapists, chiropractors and massage therapists trained in the technique. A simple Internet search should turn up a practitioner in your area.
If you can’t afford clinical myofascial release treatments or have difficulty leaving home, you can perform these treatments yourself. You’ll either need a foam roller or a tennis ball, both of which are very inexpensive. The technique you’ll use will depend on the area of discomfort. Using the roller or tennis ball, you will apply continuous pressure on the areas in discomfort until the pain lessens.
[box type="note"]Living with chronic pain can make life unbearable. Your work and social life suffers and depression can result. Myofascial release is a naturopathic technique that can help you heal from traumatic injury and get back to living life.[/box]