Myofascial release is a form of soft tissue therapy that involves applying gentle, sustained pressure into muscles so as to reduce muscle tension and pain. It can be described as stretching for your fascia, which are the connective tissues surrounding your muscles. Myofascial release techniques are sometimes used to complement other treatments for muscle pain and tension.
Myofascial release can assist in treating many types of musculoskeletal dysfunctions. Research has shown it to be effective treatment modality for chronic neck pain, cervicogenic headaches, tennis elbow, carpal tunnel syndrome, plantar fasciitis, anterior cruciate ligament injuries, patellofemoral pain syndrome (runner’s knee), osteoarthritis of the knee, and low back pain.
In addition to treating the symptoms of musculoskeletal injuries, myofascial release also aims at reducing muscle tension. This can increase overall flexibility and improve athletic performance. In cases where muscles are chronically tight due to overuse, myofascial release may decrease the chance of the muscle tearing (also known as a strain).
Some benefits of myofascial release include improved posture , reduced muscle tension, enhanced flexibility, increased athletic performance, and decreased likelihood of injury. However, the greatest benefits are in the treatment of musculoskeletal injuries.