Myofascial Release (MFR) Therapy

Myofascial Release (MFR) Therapy for Pain Management

What is Myofascial Release MFR Therapy?

Myofascial release (MFR) therapy is a treatment technique that addresses various conditions and symptoms dealing with muscular shortness, tightness, or stiffness. This treatment is extremely helpful for people who have lost their muscular functions or flexibility after an injury. People with ongoing back issues, shoulder pain, hip alignment issues, or pain in body areas containing soft tissue can also benefit from this therapy.

Physical therapist John F. Barnes developed the MFR therapy technique. Unlike other physiotherapy techniques, this therapy focuses on treating the fascia. Fascia is connective tissue. Matrixes of this tissue surround each muscle cell, fibril, and fiber in our bodies. These three-dimensional matrixes comprise elastin fibers, gelatinous fluids, and collagen fibers.

Hence, fascia and myofascial connective tissues are extremely sensitive. During MFR therapy, physical therapists gently apply pressure to these tissue connections to restore flexibility and eliminate pain. The slow and rhythmic application of pressure enables the damaged fascia to elongate, rehydrate, and ultimately reorganize. MFR therapy also allows the gelatinous fluid in our tissues to move freely.

Physical therapists help patients break through their physical restrictions using this therapy. This therapy unwinds the myofascial connective tissues, facilitating smoother blood circulation. All of these factors enable the damaged tissues to heal. Recipients of this therapy report feeling more aware and energetic.

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Types of MFR Therapy

MFR therapy is a hands-on treatment process. Physiotherapists use no oils or creams to conduct this therapy. The gentle tension between the patient's skin and the physiotherapist's hands improves the fascia's movement and function. The typical gliding effects of standard physiotherapy can't achieve this direct connection with fascial tissues. This massage therapy technique can be broken down into two categories:

  • Indirect Release – An extremely gentle method where the physiotherapist applies as little pressure as possible. The aim is to encourage the fascia to gradually 'untangle' itself until the patient can move freely.
  • Direct Release – This therapy technique involves the application of high amounts of pressure on affected areas. It's also known as "deep tissue MFR therapy." Physiotherapists often use added weights to release the fascial.

Risks of Myofascial Release MFR

Myofascial Release Therapy is virtually risk-free. Whether for reducing back pain or regaining mobility – MFR therapy can help just about anyone without causing any long-term ill effects. There aren't many specific scientific studies about myofascial release. That's because therapy styles vary from practitioner to practitioner. Plus, this therapy isn't risky. So, many patients with chronic back or neck pain issues who want to avoid surgical solutions are advised to receive this non-invasive therapy.

Benefits of Myofascial Release MFR Therapy

MFR therapy is one of the most hands-on approaches to alleviating pain and discomfort in various body regions. If you have an experienced physiotherapist who knows how to knead and stretch the muscles and fascia to ease out the knots, you can receive benefits like:

  • Long-term pain relief in the neck, shoulders, arms, head, jaw, lower back, hips, quads, calves, and feet.
  • Drastic improvements in range of motion.
  • Damaged tissues recover faster.
  • The immediate impact on muscle tension.
  • Reduce soreness in injured muscles.
  • The body feels more relaxed overall as MFR therapy also improves our circulation.
  • Healthier circulation leads to less stress.

Myofascial Release MFR therapy is different from gentle massages. These processes are intense, as physiotherapists apply much pressure to the patient's tightest or sorest areas. It allows them to relax and feel more flexible in the long run. But, during and immediately after the therapy, patients can feel sore.

Common Conditions Treated with Myofascial Release (MFR) Therapy

 Myofascial Release (MFR) Therapy is primarily beneficial for patients with myofascial pain syndrome. Such patients experience myofascial pain. This pain has two key sources -

  • Pain arises when the skeletal muscles and connective tissues get tied down by tight fascia. MFR therapy can loosen the wound-up fascial tissues and help the skeletal muscles and connective tissues regain their positions.
  • The other's when the myofascial tissue gets damaged, creating 'trigger points' in muscle fibers. These trigger points are contractions in muscle fibers that impede healthy blood flow. MFR therapy loosens these trigger points and promotes healthy blood circulation.
  • People with chronic headaches or neck aches can also find relief from MFR therapy. Gentle massages around tightened muscles around the neck eliminate such pains.
  • People with venous insufficiency are also prime candidates for MFR therapy.

Who Shouldn't Get Myofascial Release MFR Therapy?

Most people suffering from these issues and trying to avoid surgery can benefit from MFR Therapy. However, this technique isn't ideal for everyone.

  • Who have open injuries or wounds (e.g., fractures or broken bones)
  • People with naturally fragile bones
  • People diagnosed with deep vein thrombosis
  • Patients who consume blood-thinning medications
  • People with underlying tumors
  • Patients with extensive metabolic conditions

How to Prepare for Myofascial Release MFR Therapy? 

Here are some simple steps patients can take to prepare for  MFR Therapy:

  • Wear something elastic and loose (t-shirts and running shorts)
  • Visit the physiotherapist wearing no lotions, oils, or colognes.
  • Read the necessary information in the form given by your physiotherapist to become familiar with the process.
  • Drink plenty of water before/after the session.

What to Expect After Myofascial Release (MFR) Therapy

Myofascial Release (MFR) Therapy is a unique physical therapy that targets specific areas of the patient's fascial system, aiming to loosen the fascia and increase flexibility. It can prepare patients for more aggressive forms of treatment that further improve movement and function. Patients may experience temporary side effects such as headaches, nausea, and tiredness due to the release of toxins during the fascial healing process. Other physical therapies similar to MFR include acupuncture, neuromuscular therapy, and low-energy laser therapy.

Frequently Asked Questions

What is Myofascial Release (MFR) Therapy?
Myofascial Release (MFR) Therapy is a manual physical therapy that focuses on releasing muscular tension and restrictions through deep massage techniques.
What are the benefits of MFR Treatments?
MFR treatments can reduce pain, stiffness, and tension in the body, improve mobility, reduce recovery times, and aid in injury prevention.
Who should consider Myofascial Release?
Anyone looking for natural physical therapy treatments and those who experience chronic pain, spine health issues, soft tissue injuries, postural alignment issues, and fascial restrictions.

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Book an Appointment

Log online and fill out our online registration page and get to book an appointment with us at PhysioTattva.
It is super easy and less time-consuming.
Thank you! Your submission has been received!
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