Myofascial Release (MFR) in Downtown Toronto
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Myofascial release is an alternative form of medicinal massage therapy that treats immobility in the skeletal muscles and reduces pain by relaxing tense muscles. Many people that seek myofascial release therapy do so after losing flexibility or function following an injury. Some symptoms that indicates the need of myofascial release therapy are tightness of the tissues that restrict motion or puts the body out of alignment, excessive pressure on the muscles or joints which causes pain, and pain in any other parts of the body.
Myofascial therapy can sometimes to be used in conjunction to other treatments that aim to control pain and keep the muscles and joints flexible. Some of these other treatments may be:
- Performing self-stretching exercises to keep flexibility and range of motion maintained.
- Aerobic exercises to increase blood circulation to the affected areas.
- Applying heat to loosen constricted muscles.
- Applying ice to calm down any swollen areas.
- Using non-prescription pain relief medication such as ibuprofen or acetaminophen.
There are several causes of myofascial pain – which can be narrowed down to two sources.
- Pain can be sourced from the skeletal muscle or connective tissue that is bound down by tight fascia (a thin, tough elastic type of connective tissue that wraps most structures in the body – it protects and supports these structures).
- Pain can be sourced from a damaged myofascial tissue, sometimes a ‘trigger point’ where the contraction of muscle fibers occurred.
In either source, the restriction inhibits blood flow to the affected structure which is the leading cause of discomfort and pain. Myofascial release therapy will help stretch and loosen the fascia so that the structure it is surrounded by can move more freely and the mobility and motion of the patient is restored.
Several conditions that are often treated by myofascial release therapy are:
- Temporo-Mandibular Joint (TMJ) disorder
- Carpal tunnel syndrome
- Migraine headaches
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These sessions follow a similar pattern to physical therapy for post-operative rehabilitation. An initial appointment will be made to locate the areas that seem to be restricted, then determining the severity of the symptoms (loss of motion/symmetry in the body). Depending on the results, some treatment sessions may:
- Last at least 30 to 50 minutes or more per session.
- Be conducted daily or every couple of days.
- Can go on for a duration of a few weeks or months, depending on the nature and intensity of the patient’s condition.
During these sessions, there is gentle pressure and stretches applied to the affected area. The progress of the treatment is determined by the level of increased motion and bodily function, as well as the decrease in pain that is felt by the patient undergoing the therapy.
Benefits of Myofascial Release Therapy
- Reduction in chronic recurring injuries
- Improved breathing
- Improved joint movement
- Reduction in muscle spasms
- Decreased muscle and fascial tension
- Increase in overall circulation and fluids
Generally, myofascial release therapy is used to improve the overall health of the muscles and fascia, while also improving blood circulation and overall posture of the body.
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Registered Massage Therapists’ Association of Ontario