The goal of myofascial therapy is to eliminate the pain and limitations of movement caused by a fascia injury. It is a frequently applied technique in physiotherapy, with immediate results. We talk about it in this article.
What exactly is the headband?
The first thing to do is to clarify this concept. Fascia is a connective tissue structure that surrounds many structures in the body. It prevents friction between bones, joints and muscles and promotes mobility and the transmission of force.
Since this is a mesh, any interruption, impediment or rupture of the fascia will cause a series of symptoms that do not necessarily have to be related to the area where the injury occurred.
It is important to note that the fascia also gradually adapts to stimuli and tractions. In short, it transforms to adapt to changes in the body, so if there is an injury, it is possible to create a therapy that allows you to return to normal.
Myofascial therapy: what it consists of
The goal of myofascial therapy is to restore normalcy to this tissue. This therapy seeks to eliminate the restrictions that can be caused by trauma, strains or injuries, but also to cushion the psychological effects, such as anxiety disorders and episodes of depression.
There are four ways to apply this type of therapy:
- Myofascial induction : consists of stretching and gentle pressure maintained over time, the aim of which is to restore normal tissue behavior. We will work on both the superficial and the deep fascia, depending on the pressure exerted on the affected area of the body.
- Direct release. This technique consists of applying pressure and making constant movements with the knuckles or other parts of the body over a specific area. A good amount of pressure will be used, focused primarily on the deep fascia.
- Indirect release. The aim is to treat the tissues at a distance. For example, if the restriction of movement affects the shoulder or elbow, the physical therapist will grab the patient’s wrist. He will then place his arm in the correct position and ask for a slight stretch, to be held for several minutes. Remember that the band is a continuous fabric. So, this technique is how to place the tablecloth nicely on the dining room table. If it is curled on one side, we need to pull the end to the opposite side, which will lengthen it and bring it back to normal.
- Active therapy. During this modality, the therapist will apply forces to the patient’s body, but will ask the patient to try to resist the forces exerted. In this way, the muscle contractions themselves will help redirect the connective tissue around them.
In all cases, these techniques are painless, gentle and non-invasive. However, they are usually not applied alone. Myofascial therapy could be integrated with acupuncture, especially if active points have been detected in the muscles, or with other types of exercises or stretches applicable in each case.
Benefits of myofascial therapy
When working on a large number of tissues, myofascial therapy will be applied in different situations that may not seem associated with each other. Therefore, this therapy can help combat back pain, shoulder pain, tendonitis, plantar fasciitis, fibromyalgia, and even generalized pain after a period of high emotional stress.
In all of these cases and many others, it is possible that the therapist includes myofascial therapy techniques in his sessions, as the fascia is often prone to injury.
As we said at the beginning, the goal is to reduce pain and regain normal mobility. If the therapist declares that the fascia can be involved, it will take only a few sessions to see a noticeable improvement.