What is Myofascial Release Technique?
MRT or Myofascial Release Technique is a series of different soft tissue techniques which are very effective in the treatment of myofascial (muscle, tendon, ligament and connective tissue) pain syndromes. MRT is different than most soft tissue (deep muscle) therapies (e.g. massage). Your doctor, by using MRT, is at the forefront of a new age in the treatment of nerve and muscle related problems. Patients who experience the benefits of MRT have experienced one of the most effective types of soft tissue therapy available. Current research suggests that the myofascia is responsible for muscular coordination, the way we move and may actually have its own neurological network, which may cause chronic pain and disability. The Myofascia is now thought to be an integrated essential body organ system, which researchers are just now beginning to understand.
How does Myofascial Release Work?
MRT is used to break up scar tissue that exists in muscle tissue, tendons and between muscles, fascia and nerves. Injuries throughout one’s life to muscle and underlying tissues result in scar tissue. Over time, muscles shorten, become fibrotic and less elastic. Muscles can eventually adhere to each other (develop adhesion) instead of gliding independent of each other. The combination of adhesion and scar tissue causes pain and stiffness. As the condition worsens with time, nerve roots may also become adhered (stuck) to the other involved soft tissue structures causing more pain, numbness, and loss of joint and muscle function. Patients who are helped by MRT have often tried heat, medication, surgery (e.g. Carpal Tunnel), massage and manipulation with the problem always returning. MRT is very effective at providing good long term results with these type of patients. MRT removes the scar tissue in muscles by stripping it away from the involved muscle spindles, allowing the muscle to resume its normal length. MRT can also remove scar tissue where muscles insert into bone, from tendons, between muscles (adhesion) and between muscles and nerve roots.
When the scar tissue is literally stripped away, normal function returns, long term pain is resolved and the doctor’s exercises can now help to restore normal function to the involved structures. Performing exercises after myofascial is essential to optimal results, which is why we use an integrative approach to care.
If you are built asymmetrically, as many of our patients are, the myofascia will tighten and restrict movement in response to this. This is why we often explain to patient that we must evaluate and treat their body, not just a the area where symptoms exist. Often, the source of the problem is not where the pain is. Better management can be a game changer for the chronic pain sufferer.
Is MRT Painful?
MRT is extremely effective. Unlike many muscle therapy’s, MRT usually does not cause discomfort and you should tell the doctor if his contact becomes uncomfortable. The doctor will either actively or passively have you move the area being treated. The harder you work at this while the doctor applies therapeutic pressure, the more effective the therapy will be and the quicker you will respond to the therapy.
You may experience soreness for a day or two after treating an area which is normal. The doctor may treat two different areas on two consecutive days, but the previously treated area will be sore and will need a day to recover. Often after your treatment, the body will respond to gravity and the way you move, so it is important to follow the doctors recommendations consistently for the best results.