How to use myofascial release for tight and sore muscles.
A lot of us have had sore muscles at some point in our lives.
The treatment for many of us is different though.
Maybe you do myofascial release or roll out your muscles, take an ice-cold bath or just deal with it. All are good ideas, but one will help give you healthy fascia.
What even is fascia? Fascia is a thin lining of tissue under the skin that covers a surface, usually a muscle or other organ. We have fascia in our bodies to protect our organs and bones.
Ligaments and tendons are also a part of the fascia system and they connect our body, muscle to bone and bone to bone.
To keep it simple, healthy fascia basically puts your body together. It’s important to understand the basics of what it is, why we have it and how to take care of it.
An analogy about how our fascia is like a sponge. When a sponge is dry and brittle it is easy to crumble, and break. But when it is wet you can squeeze it, twist it and crush it and it is difficult to break.
The same is with the fascia in our bodies. We need to keep it well hydrated and “wet” like the sponge to keep it healthy. So, to have healthy fascia and relieve some tension, you will need myofascial release, or just rolling out your muscles if you’re not into scientific terms.
Stretching is a great way to keep the fascia hydrated, but to work on the soft tissue, myofascial release is a safe and effective way to have healthy fascia.
What do we get sore muscles from?
Here are 3 common causes of myofascial pain:
Overuse – When you over use your muscles it can cause fatigue, decreased range of motion, and pain. Overuse of the muscles can often allow scar tissue to form. This will weaken the surrounding muscles and can cause pain if not treated by myofascial release.
Stress or anxiety – People who regularly experience stress and anxiety are potentially more likely to experience myofascial pain. The Mayo Clinic says that one theory suggests these people are more likely to tighten their muscles, like clenching their toes or hands. After doing this repeated times, it causes strain and tightness to the muscles. When your muscles are tight, it makes it difficult to move. Myofascial release can relieve the tightness in those muscles.
Injury – No one likes getting hurt. A muscle injury can be one of the worst. When you engage in physical activities such as sports, working out, running, swimming, biking or anything else there is a possibility that you might strain a muscle. Without stretching properly before you do these activities, your muscles are not ready to be stretched in the way that these activities require. When you get injured it not only causes some pain on the outside of the body, but the muscles on the inside of the body are tender and sore as well. Myofascial release can prevent injury from occurring in the first place.
So now that we know what makes up our body, how do we keep it healthy?
Myofascial release (or rolling out your muscles) is a technique that is used by applying continuous pressure into the fascia tissue. Over time the fascia becomes more and more hydrated allowing the “myofascial release” to relieve the inflamed tissue. This will help keep the fascia healthy.
It focuses on releasing tightness and pain throughout the body. The trigger points that need this treatment are small knots that require pressure to release and soften.
A couple different methods are used to treat this pain.
- A massage therapist who has been trained and certified will take a finger or other instrument to the trigger point, or knot, and apply a significant amount of pressure. Variations are used depending on therapist technique preference.
- Applying heat to the tightened muscles, or using ice to calm the inflamed areas. These are both at home techniques that can vary from person to person.
- Using the Plexus Wheel to target all the trigger points in the body. The Plexus Wheel will allow you to apply an increased amount of pressure to the area and roll out the muscles for effective myofascial release.
The micro wheel is targets the soft tissue fascia allowing myofascial release to take place. The wheel will fit perfectly between the shoulder blades to target the muscles right along the spine. It will break up the scar tissue.
Using the Plexus Wheel consistently to roll out will loosen the muscle tension and create healthy fascia.
The healthy fascia will begin to form as rolling exercises are performed consistently. The plexus wheel can be used on any part of the body.
The amount of time using the Plexus Wheel will be different for each person. Physical therapists and doctors that have used the Plexus Wheel recommend using the wheel 5 minutes a day. Rolling out the sore muscles to allow the myofascial release to begin to loosen the muscles.