Tuesday
Jan122010

Myofascial Release

Myofascial Release is a form of soft tissue therapy used to treat somatic dysfunction and accompanying pain and restriction of motion. This is accomplished by relaxing contracted muscles, increasing circulation, increasing venous and lymphatic drainage, and stimulating the stretch reflex of muscles and overlying fascia.

Fascia is the soft tissue component of the connective tissue that provides support and protection for most structures within the human body, including muscle. This soft tissue can become restricted due to psychogenic disease, overuse, trauma, infectious agents, or inactivity, often resulting in pain, muscle tension, and corresponding diminished blood flow. Although fascia and its corresponding muscle are the main targets of myofascial release, other tissue may be affected as well, including other connective tissue.

As in most tissue, irritation of fascia or muscle causes local inflammation. Chronic inflammation results in fibrosis, or thickening of the connective tissue, and this thickening causes pain and irritation, resulting in reflexive muscle tension that causes more inflammation. In this way, the cycle creates a positive feedback loop and can result in ischemia and somatic dysfunction even in the absence of the original offending agent. Myofascial techniques aim to break this cycle through a variety of methods acting on multiple stages of the cycle. Myofascial techniques generally fall under the two main categories of passive (patient stays completely relaxed) or active (patient provides resistance as necessary), with direct and indirect techniques used in each.

Monday
Apr192010

Direct Myofascial Release

The direct myofascial release (or deep tissue work) method works on the restricted fascia.  Practitioners use knuckles, elbows, or other tools to slowly stretch the restricted fascia by applying a few kilograms-force or tens of newtons. Direct myofascial release seeks for changes in the myofascial structures by stretching, elongation of fascia, or mobilizing adhesive tissues. The practitioner moves slowly through the layers of the fascia until the deep tissues are reached.

Monday
Apr192010

Indirect Myofascial Release

The indirect method involves a gentle stretch, with only a few grams of pressure, which allows the fascia to 'unwind' itself. The gentle traction applied to the restricted fascia will result in heat and increased blood flow in the area. This allows the body's inherent ability for self-correction to return, thus eliminating pain and restoring the optimum performance of the body.

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Contact Inspirit Therapy Associates

Phone: 920.338.9670
Fax: 920.338.9680
Email: feelbetter@inspiritpt.com

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Inspirit Therapy Associates
3208 East River Drive
Green Bay, WI 54301

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