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Treatment Techniques: Myofascial Release

The next in my series of blog posts regarding treatments will discuss myofascial release techniques. A fantastic technique which I regularly use on clients.


But, in order to understand this, we must first understand what myofascia is.


What is Myofascia?


Fascia is simply connective tissue. With many different connective roles in the body.

Myofascia is a collection of connective tissue which separates and links all muscles of the body- cementing muscles to bones and wrapping every bone to every joint. It is like the scaffolding for muscles, keeping them supported or separate, and constantly adapting to the environment.


Myofascia is incredibly versatile, strong and elastic, the fibres can stretch to 150% and return without damage. Moreover, the majority of nerve ending are held within fascia, including proprioceptors (special awareness), mechanoreceptors (movement) and nociceptors (pain). All of which are very important to both the health of the musculoskeletal system and the work of the veterinary physiotherapist who is aiming to create positive effects to these nerves.

In the human and animal body, myofascial is never completely relaxed but tensed due to stress and active contractions. It absorbs physical strain which is distributed throughout the entire structure. Over time, this can lead to reduction in elastic ability and general wear and tear.


Therefore, misuse, disuse or overuse injuries cause compensatory tension, leading to thickening and adhesion (stickiness), scarring and fibrosis of the fascia. This, in turn, leads to pain and reduced range of motion and mobility, leading to further compensatory problems! However, this unhealthy fascia tissue can be tuned and released with myofascial release techniques.


So… what is myofascial release?


Myofascial release consists of applying sustained pressure to the skin, to create mechanical and neurological responses such as pain relief and the ‘freeing’ affect to dysfunctional fascia and joints.


Fascia responds very well to kinetic energy such as pressure and tension, which means vet physios can really work with the myofascia to release tension, reduce pain and repair the tissue.

Therefore, myofascial release techniques can be used by the vet physio to trigger or stimulate affect to release tension. Combined with other soft tissue techniques such as massage, stretching and remedial exercises, myofascial release can be an effective and powerful treatment technique.


If you would like to find out more or have any queries on today’s blog or whether your animal may benefit from veterinary physiotherapy, don’t hesitate to contact me by emailing me at grace@gracehobbsvertphysio.com .



References

Skoyles, M. 2018. What is Myofascia?. [Online]. Marlow Sports Therapy. Available from: https://marlowsportstherapy.com/what-is-myofascia/


Skoyles, M. 2018. What is Myofascial Release?[Online]. Marlow Sports Therapy. Available from: https://marlowsportstherapy.com/what-is-myofascial-release/

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