Whenever back pain strikes, you may find yourself unable to perform simple daily tasks. We may not be aware of it, but we bend our backs for many daily activities, and severe back pain may even make it difficult to report to work or school.
The pain medications and balms you have been applying to your back work for a while, but there is no lasting relief. Though there are treatments and medications that can ease the pain, many of these methods only offer temporary ease. But a technique called myofascial release can relieve your spinal pain for a longer time.
In this article, we discuss what myofascial release is as well as massage techniques that can help reduce back pain. If you have chronic back pain or experience back pain because of a more pressing issue, though, it is best to contact a medical professional.
Recognize the Trigger Points: What is Myofascial Pain?
Myofascial pain is another way of describing muscle pain. Even if you aren’t injured, your body’s soft tissues may be prone to inflammation or myofascial pain syndrome, also known as chronic muscle pain. This can be caused by muscle fiber injury, repetitive motions that make your muscles sore, or letting your muscles stay inactive for long periods of time.
The biggest symptom is the pain you feel. It is possible to experience myofascial pain in other parts of your body besides your lower back. Other symptoms may include fatigue and changes in behavior. Muscle pains often have a trigger point, specifically the sorest spot in your body.
Treatment for mild cases of myofascial pain usually involves painkillers with anti-inflammatory properties such as ibuprofen or aspirin. However, more severe cases will require physical therapy to return the muscles to their former condition. One of these treatments includes myofascial release.
Myofascial Release Treatment
Myofascial release treatment is based on understanding the origin of certain types of back pain. If your efforts at easing your lower back pain are not getting any results, perhaps it is because the pain arises from what therapists call trigger points.
These areas of restriction are often found on the fascia or myofascial tissue. These are stiff and influence the flexibility and movement of muscles and other soft tissues in the area. When soft tissues become tight, they pull other structures out of alignment. When this happens, the muscles, tendons, ligaments, and bones will function out of their optimal length. This type of soft tissue dysfunction often leads to pain.
Without doing anything to release the stiffness and remove the restrictions, it is improbable that the pain will go away for good. However, if a person who knows the technique were to find the trigger point and work on it, perhaps the pain would only be a distant memory.
Myofascial Release Techniques
Myofascial release is a hands-on treatment method that is safe and proven effective when performed as indicated. The therapist will apply mild to moderate pressure on the trigger points to relieve pain and limitation of movement. The next time you seek medical or rehabilitative treatment for low back pain, look for a deep tissue massage in Salt Lake City.
If the doctor or therapist recommends myofascial release instead as a treatment strategy, then there is a need to clear restrictions on the fascia. Fascia is flexible but tough and spread throughout the body as a web of connective tissue. It is akin to a finely knitted sweater, but it can transform into a rigid and unforgiving structure when compromised.
The restricted areas on the fascia are not visible on x-ray results or any other visual imaging techniques, but a physical therapist can trace them with their skilled hands. The restrictions may be due to inflammation or trauma. Pain-sensitive structures may be caught within the restricted areas and could increase the severity of the symptoms even more.
Indications and Applications
Persistent lower back pain is one of the many indications for myofascial release. It is also widely used in treating shoulder pain and stiffness, loss of mobility following an injury, and many other physical complaints involving soft tissue. If you know of anyone who has fibromyalgia, chronic headaches, temporomandibular syndrome and venous insufficiency, let them know there is another treatment option.
For best results, a therapist performs myofascial release together with other treatment methods designed to restore maximum function and improve quality of life—the critical purpose of physical rehabilitation.