Myofascial therapy relieves soft tissue restrictions that cause pain. Some causes of chronic myofascial pain or low back pain are easier to diagnose than others: trauma (suchas a car accident or fall), cumulative posture misalignment or mechanical deficits, a compressed nerve from a herniated disc, or inflammatory conditions.
When pain is caused by myofascial tightness within the fascial system (the web of connective tissue that spreads throughout the body and surrounds every muscle, bone, nerve blood vessel, and organ to the cellular level) the diagnosis is more difficult, as fascia restrictions do not show up on MRI scans or X-rays. Yet, those restrictions can play a significant role in creating pain and malfunction in the structure of the spine, extremities and organs.
Myofascial Therapy is a type of safe, low load stretch that releases tightness and pain throughout the body caused by myofascial pain syndrome, which describes chronic muscle pain that is worse in certain areas known as trigger points.
Fascia is a three-dimensional web that permeates the whole body. The best way to envision the expanse of the fascial system is to think of it as a layer of connective tissue (similar to a tendon or ligament) that starts with the top layer directly below the skin, and extends to two deeper layers.
When the fascia is in its normal healthy state it is a relaxed and supple web – like the weave in a loose-knit sweater. When it is restricted, it is more rigid and less pliable, and can create pulls, tensions, and pressure as great as 2,000 pounds per square inch.
The fascia is a continuous system, running from the bottom of the feet through the top of the head and has three layers:
- Superficial fascia, which lies directly below the skin. It stores fat and water, allows nerves to run through it, and allows muscle to move the skin.
- Deep fascia, which surrounds and infuses with muscle, bone, nerves, and blood vessels to the cellular level.
- Deepest fascia, which sits within the dura of cranial sacral system.
Fascia restrictions can occur within any or all of the layers. Pain can be generated from the skeletal muscle or connective tissues that are ‘bound down’ by tight fascia. In addition, pain can also be generated from damaged myofascial tissue itself, sometimes at a ‘trigger point’ where a contraction of muscle fibers has occurred. In either case, the restriction or contraction inhibits blood flow to the affected structures, thus accentuating the contraction process further unless the area is treated.
Myofascial release (MFR) therapy focuses on releasing muscular shortness and tightness. Many patients seek myofascial treatment after losing flexibility or function following an injury or if experiencing ongoing back, shoulder, hip, or pain in any area containing soft tissue.
Are you ready to find the cause of your pain instead of just masking the symptoms? Are you ready to start drug-free pain management, have a treatment plan provided all under one roof and return your body back to its natural state of optimal health? To learn more about our full service chiropractic program or to schedule an appointment, please call (304) 263-4927 today. Dr. Terry Chambers is a Board certified chiropractor and acupuncturist, licensed in WV, and trained to perform functional medicine.