If you experience pain throughout your body that seems to stem from one area, you may be experiencing what are known as trigger points. A trigger point is a specific area within your myofascial tissue, often located in the back or the neck, that causes pain or discomfort which carries to different areas of your body. Since trigger points can cause chronic pain, it is important that they are treated through the use of myofascial release therapy. With manual massage techniques from trained physical therapists, myofascial release therapy can be very effective in treating tight spots, knots, or soreness throughout long bands of muscle tissue.
Our goal at Rawlins County Health Center is to educate patients so that they may live a happier and healthier life. If you feel that you could benefit from myofascial release therapy, learn more by reading our article below. We’ll outline what myofascial pain is caused by, how myofascial release therapy works, and the easy techniques you can do at home to aid in myofascial release.
How it Works
Due to stress, injury, or overuse, muscles can begin to tighten and shorten, causing individuals a great deal of pain, discomfort, and loss of flexibility. According to the National Association of Myofascial Trigger Point Therapists, “patients evaluated in one pain management center were found to have a myofascial component to their pain in 95% of cases.” Knowing this information, you can begin to see how common trigger point pain can be for individuals. Many people who experience myofascial and trigger point pain aren’t even aware that their muscle fibers are permanently contracted, which leads to muscle tension and tightness. The purpose of myofascial release therapy is to effectively return permanently contracted muscles to their relaxed state.
Self Myofascial Release at Home
If you are unable to schedule a session with a massage therapist or physical therapist, myofascial release can be achieved at home with a little effort. To easily treat trigger points in the comfort of your own home, simply purchase a tennis ball or foam roller. Foam rollers are common tools that are used to break up tight muscle tissue, and can be found online or at major retail stores. After you’ve purchased your trigger point tool of choice, begin by laying on your back and placing your tennis ball or foam roller underneath you. Start by using your foam roller or tennis ball to slowly roll around sore spots on your back until you find a trigger point. You’ll know you’ve found a trigger point when rolling over an incredibly sore spot that causes pain and discomfort.
If you are using a tennis ball to massage a trigger point, let the tennis ball rest on the trigger point until it begins to relax and give way to the tennis ball. After your trigger point has relaxed and loosened, begin using your body’s weight to leverage the tennis ball deeper into your muscle tissue. This will ensure that you are reaching the main source of your trigger point, and will help eliminate the root cause of pain altogether. Alternatively, if you’re using a foam roller, use your body’s weight to move the foam roller up and down your back. After you’ve found the sorest area affecting you most, begin slowly rolling up and down the muscle tissue. Although you may not be massaging the trigger point directly, you can effectively help the trigger point release by massaging the long muscle fibers which connect to your trigger point. This will cause your trigger point to relax, allowing myofascial release to occur naturally.
With enough practice, you will begin to find your trigger points quickly and easily. Myofascial release therapy can alleviate most of the pain an individual is experiencing, improving their quality of life and muscular mobility. If you are a resident in Atwood or its surrounding areas and want to learn more about myofascial release therapy, get in touch with our friendly staff at Rawlins County Health Center! Our physical therapists are experienced in myofascial release therapy, and work with patients to ensure that they leave our facility with an increased range of motion while decreasing their overall level of pain. Contact Rawlins County Health Center to schedule your appointment today!