Fascia is a thin tissue that covers all of the body’s organs. This is a very fibrous and strong connective tissue that envelopes and isolates the muscles of the body, providing structural support and protection. Fascia looks like the white tissue streaked across uncooked meat.
When an injury occurs, the fascia may contract tightly, pulling muscles and bones into painful positions. Myofascial release is a type of massage which involves stretching and massage of the fascia.
How Stress Causes Pain in Your Body & How Myofascial Release Works
We all have stress in our lives. Everybody has some and our bodies are built to adapt to it.
What happens is we run into trouble when our bodies become over whelmed.
The body has a few simple rules. The first rule is “If I don’t move it won’t hurt”.
The first thing your body does to deal with over whelming stress is to tighten up your muscles – your muscles are what the body is going to use to brace against the storm.
The problem is that muscles come in pairs and what usually happens is that only one muscle tightens and the other ends up being stretched.
It is the stretched muscle that is going to be the one you feel discomfort in, the one that is sore and feeling bad – the one that is tight is the one you are not going to be as aware of.
We see people coming into the office with their shoulders coming forward with the stretched muscles in the back going, Ouch my back hurts!
But when we touch them in the front they levitate off the table.
What we are looking for is where or which muscle is too tight so if you tell me it hurts on the left and I start pocking around on the right I am not being dyslectic – I just trying to find where the balance point is at.
The body is three dimensional – front to back – side to side – top to bottom, so we are going to start by finding where the balance points are.
The next tissue that is affected is the fascia – the fascia is the tissue that surrounds the muscle.
Fascia has 2000 lbs. tensile strength, so this is some heavy duty tissue!
The muscles can ring the water out of the fascia, normally the fascia is like elastic and holds the muscle in place so it can do its job but when the muscles ring the water out of the fascia it becomes like shrink wrap and holds the muscle tight regardless of how relaxed the muscle is.
You have experienced fiscal dehydration if you have ever taken a long car trip, and you have been in the car for more than two hours, when you get out of the car you are still in the shape of the car seat!
When you stretch to get more movement – fiscal dehydration is why it feels so good to stretch. You’re stretching out the shrink wrap and freeing up the muscles.
What is affected next is the joint and within the joint you have the muscle that is moving and supporting the joint and the ligaments which are connecting bone to bone.
What is supposed to happen is when the muscle gets tight it pulls on the joint and when the muscle relaxes the ligaments pulls the joint back to center.
The problem is that fiscal dehydration maintains the pull on the joint and eventually the ligament stretches apart to allow the joint to have more movement. The problem is a stretched ligament leads to a more unstable joint.
When the joint is unstable the bone which normally takes around 6000 to 8000 lbs. per square inch to shift out of place is going to shift a little easer.
The shift in the position of a bone often impacts the nerves.
Only 10% of a nerve carries pain the other 90% is busy controlling the muscles, organs, and glands.
So you are probably going to get a functional change long before get a change where you feel pain.
So what happens is a bone becomes out of place and puts a little compression on a nerve which controls a muscle and by testing that muscle we are lead to the muscle, bone, nerve grouping that is causing the problem so we can address the whole problem and fix it and not just make it feel better for the short term.
When we get the fascia stretched back out the joint can move back into position and it will feel a lot better. With the ligament, just like if you have ever had a sprained ankle and strained the ligaments, the ligaments are going to take longer to heal than the muscle because the ligaments do not have a direct blood supply.
When you have had a sprained ankle you noticed that after a short while you could walk around the house just fine but if you went to the mall and did a lot of walking it would start to hurt because the ligament will take a lot longer to heal than the muscle does.
So when we get things back in shape it is going to take a little time for the ligament to shrink back and hold the way they should.
This is where it sometimes seems when you go to a chiropractor like you have to keep coming back over and over. You don’t really, you just have to keep coming long enough for the ligaments to shrink down and hold the joints in place.
And that is all we are asking.