Myofascial release (MFR)is a system of techniques that is directed at myofascial structures.
The mechanism of MR is not fully understood; however, it is speculated that sustained pressure causes stimulation of certain mechanoreceptors (nerve endings sensitive to mechanical pressures or distortions). When excessive tension is perceived, certain mechanoreceptors send a signal to the nervous system causing a relaxation effect.
The similar principle also applies with hands-on massage techniques, such as a practitioner applying pressure using his or her thumb to a perceived “knot” in the tissue. After several seconds, the patient may feel a “release” in the tissue providing acute relief.
Please note, this is an oversimplified description of the process as there are other neural mechanisms also involved.
Furthermore, what is important to know is that Myofascial release DOES NOT physically stretch the fascia. Multiple studies have shown that physical stretching of fascia is almost impossible. Therefore, the principle of “the harder the better” is certainly not the case here.
This technique can be used with a majority of musculoskeletal complaints and in our experience is usually very well tolerated.
Important to remember that your Osteopath would always employ a variety of techniques to achieve the best possible results.