Feeling sore or stiff?  Tension in your muscles caused by myofascial “knots” may the culprit.

Myo – what? Myofascial can be better understood when broken into the two key components: myo (muscle) and fascia (surrounding sheet of connective tissue).

Sometimes these layers become clenched as a result of an injury, poor movement habits or stress. These firm sore spots, under your skin, are called myofascial trigger points.

For example, when you exercise, micro tears occur in your muscles. This tearing and repairing is responsible for increasing muscle size. However, when the tears don’t heal properly, the layers of fascia can stick to one another causing pain and discomfort. The presence of pain prevents optimal muscle function and prevents your body from performing at its full potential. Not to mention creating an excuse to slow or stop exercising. This is where myofascial release comes into play.

For most of us, a massage feels good. You can feel the tension leaving your body as you relax. And this is literally what is happening. As pressure is applied to the clenched muscle area it physically breaks down the adhesions and elongates the muscle layers. A long and limber muscle is a happy muscle.

Seeing a Registered Massage Therapist (RMT) on a regular basis is wonderful but can become costly. To make the most of your extended medical plan, you may benefit from using a myofascial release tool. These tools are not meant to replace RMT treatment, but can act as a way to maintain muscle health between visits.

Myofascial release tools include: foam rollers, acupressure balls, and massage sticks. These self-massage tools can effectively release those “knots” at home or on the go.

Other benefits of myofascial release include:

  • Injury prevention
  • Increases flexibility
  • Reduce the effects of delayed onset muscle soreness (DOMS)
  • Increase blood flow for a faster recovery after an injury or surgery

We carry a wide array of release and rehab tools to help you get back to doing what you love. If you are new to using a release tool, go slow. You will be very familiar with the term “hurts so good” as you power through the pain.