Treating chronic pain with trigger point therapies
"Have you ever noticed an injured football player sitting on the sidelines being attended to for an injury? Often the staff is using a form of Myofascial Release...long and slow stretches of a muscle to relax the tension and pressure to relieve pain and avoid further injury."
Myofascial Release is a mixture of stretches and massage techniques which aims to release tension and pressure in the fascia, the connective tissue that surrounds all muscles, bones, nerves, blood vessels, and organs.
Tension can be caused by injury, illness, poor posture, continuous improper body movements and motions...such as when using a computer and emotional stress which can cause the fascia (muscles fibers) to become restricted. By palpation, touching areas of the body the practitioner will locate tight areas of the body and then gently stretch those tissues until the tightness begins to diminish. Long and slow gently stretches are used and can last for up to minutes at a time or until a release of tension and a softening is felt. Patients may also feel a release of emotional feelings which have been built-up over time.
The goal of Myofascial Release is to release fascia restriction and restore its tissue health thereby alleviating problems with connective tissue scarring or injury which helps to relieve pain, increase range of motion, and promote healing.
It can be effective in treating Fibromyalgia, chronic and recurring pain in the head, neck, shoulders, jaw and in treating sports injuries. The number of sessions needed depends of the level of pain, condition or injury.
If you're feeling uptight it's because you probably are and may benefit from this form of bodywork therapy.
Ralph Nimo, D.C. research and developed the science of Myofasical Pain Release. Janet Graeme Travell, M.D., popularized the diagnosis and treatment of Myofascial Pain Syndrome secondary to trigger points. In 1961 she was appointed the personal physician to President John F. Kennedy; she was the first female doctor to hold this position.