top of page
Myofascial Restriction and Myofascial Release

Myofascial Restriction and Myofascial Release

Myofascial Restriction and Myofascial Release Techniques

And How to Foam Roll?

In a previous article, we talked about the fascia, also known as myofascia, and how it forms a continuous web that surrounds and connects the body’s muscles, vessels, nerves and organs.  The fascia allows our muscles to move freely and slide against each other throughout their range of motion.


In its normal, healthy state, the fascia is relaxed, supple and hydrated.  However, it can get damaged and become restricted and inflexible.  In this state, the fascia becomes more rigid and less pliable, and can create adverse and unwanted tensile pressures of up to approximately 2,000 lbs. per square inch and affect adjacent parts of the body.


The area where the fascia becomes stiff and inflexible is called an adhesion. When this happens muscles become restricted, movement becomes difficult decreasing the range of motion.   Posture is likely compromised and the many systems the fascia supports also suffer such as efficient breathing.  


If left untreated, a localized adhesion will cause further restriction in global movements and develop into a movement compensation. This leads to lack of tissue flexibility and joint mobility. You might experience muscle weakness and pain.


This pain can be felt in the skeletal muscle, connective tissues or joint. The pain can also be caused by the damaged myofascial tissue itself as well as restricted muscle fibers.


In some cases, the area where a person experiences pain may not even be where the pain generator is located.  The actual site of the injury causes the development of a trigger point which causes pain in other areas. A trigger point is where contraction of muscle fibers have occurred.

The Causes

Dysfunctional fascia can be due to several different factors:

  • Overuse due to repetitive actions (e.g. factory work or keyboarding)

  • Trauma (e.g. fall, accident or whiplash or surgery)

  • Infection and inflammation

  • Bad posture (e.g. sitting crouched over a computer for a long time)

  • Lack of activity or being sedentary

  • Emotional or psychological stress

  • Dysfunctional breathing

  • Poor movement patterns and muscle recruitment sequencing

  • Accumulation of overly dense layers of fascia

  • Scar tissue

Symptoms of Myofascial Restriction

Here are some indications that your pain might be caused by restricted fascia and can be improved through myofascial release therapy such as Resistance Stretching:

  • Dull, hot, aching pain in the muscles and or joints

  • General pain in the body including headache or lower back ache

  • Chronic joint or muscle stiffness

  • Clumsy, uncoordinated movements

  • Limited range of motion

  • Muscle cramps when you rest

  • Sciatica

  • Intermittent tingling or numbness in arm or leg

  • Burning pain or cramping in an area of the body

  • Breathing difficulties

  • Recurring injuries

  • Poor posture and reduced flexibility


When sever fascial restriction occurs, pain can be relieved several ways.  Depending on severity of pain, medication such as non-steroidal anti-inflammatories, may be prescribed.  It has been my continued experience that such medications are over-prescribed and you should be wary of the side effects


Many people also look to non-drug treatments to help manage pain.  A holistic approach to healing is Myofascial Release. What is it and how does it help?

Man Foam Rolling

What Is Myofascial Release and How Does It Help


Myofascial release is a group of techniques and modalities that relieve symptoms and restore balance within our neuro-muscular-skeletal-fascial system. Myofascial release focuses on releasing muscular tightness and shortness or breaking down dense fascia.


The basics of the technique can be done by yourself or someone assisting you. One method uses gentle stretching and sustained pressure until the body voluntarily releases the restriction in the collagen layer.


During myofascial release, you or the person feels for the glue-like texture of collagen. When the collagen is dense, thick, solid or hard, this constitutes a muscular or fascial restriction.  If alone, you would feel tenderness to moderate pressure.


A sustained, gentle pressure is applied for one to eight minutes to this restriction. Self-Myofascial-Release (SMR) are techniques that you would use in similar ways to mimic a therapist.  This all allows the fascia to elongate naturally and return to its normal resting length. This restores balance, health and helps in long term relief of pain.


Previously, we have mentioned that the fascia is one continuous web that connects through every area of the body. Thus, if one part of the fascia is affected, it is possible to feel the effects in other parts. Myofascial release recognizes this inherent characteristic.


Therefore, in using myofascial release techniques, a corrective exercise specialist may work on one part of the body to produce relief on other parts. To cite an example, releasing myofascial restriction on the hips and low back can help reduce tension on the neck which in turn, relieve headaches.


This whole body approach to pain relief makes myofascial release a very effective treatment and holistic approach to healing the body.


Myofascial release techniques have been proven to effectively improve the following conditions:


  • Lower back pain

  • Knee pain

  • Headache

  • Neck stiffness

  • Shoulder injuries

  • Arthritic conditions

  • Sports injuries

  • TMJ or Temporomandibular Joint disorder

  • Carpal tunnel syndrome

  • Dysfunctional breathing (shallow breathing)

  • Conditions in which medication will not fix the issue.


New Found Strength Fitness & Nutrition offers classes that can teach you myofascial release techniques so you can be self-sufficient. In my classes, you will learn how to do SMR or Self-Myofascial-Release and MCT or Myofascial Compression Techniques which mimic massage, Contract/Release techniques that mimic PNF stretching and Self-Resistance Stretching.  


Of course, the single most effective option is to have a session of Resistance Stretching performed on you by me.


These techniques allow you to better target the areas that need more attention.  Through the help of foam rollers, we help improve how you feel, stand, walk, move and perform.  The better you feel, the better you move.

In part 2, we will discuss how to foam roll or how to do SMR or Self-Myofascial-Release and MCT or Myofascial Compression Techniques.


Reach Out to Me Today

If you are looking to improve your quality of life, health and flexibility, eliminate joint pain, then call me at 951-901-8348.  Call today to be Pain Free now.


Tags; myofascial release, myofascial restriction, fascia, fascial, SMR, joint pain, lower back pain, sports injuries, headache, knee pain, resistance stretching, foam roll, myofascia, MCT

bottom of page