Why it temporarily hurts when your Myofacia is released
In today’s world where modern medicine has a drug for just about every ailment that plagues you, altogether too many people are being numbed but not treated for pain they are experiencing. There are safer alternatives to pharmaceuticals, some of which are actually healing and myofascial release is one highly successful treatment for ongoing muscular and joint pain that doesn’t ever seem to subside.
However, when the myofascia is released there may be some amount of pain associated with the procedure and while it is completely normal, you may be questioning why it temporarily hurts when your myofascia is released. In order to answer this, it is first necessary to understand what myofascia is and how it is impacted by literally every aspect of your being.
What Is Myofascia?
Sometimes referred to simply as fascia, myofascia is a web-like connective tissue that surrounds every muscle and bone in your body and the entire structure is interconnected from your head right down to your toes. Not only does the fascia help to maintain the integrity of the muscle and bone structure but it helps to protect and support them. Fascia literally works as a shock-absorbing system and is known to be vital to the biochemical and hemodynamic (blood circulation) processes within the body.
Many people are unaware of the fact that myofascia does so much more than protect bones and muscle tissue as it is also the first line of defence against many pathogens that seek to attack various cells within the body. Your myofascia is the pathway through which your body’s cells seek to communicate with each other and upon injury to the body, the myofascial tissue provides a suitable environment for the injured tissue to be repaired.
What Is Myofascial Release and Why Is It Necessary?
Now that you understand what myofascia is and what part it plays in the anatomical workings of the musculoskeletal system, it can be better understood how any injury or strain would also affect the myofascia. Unfortunately, it doesn’t really stop with just the injured muscle or joint because, as we said, the myofascia is an interconnected web of tissue that surrounds muscles and bones throughout the entire body. As a result, when there is an injury in one spot, the pain could be radiated to any other location in the body.
Myofascial release is a manual manipulation of ‘trigger points’ within the body that are causing the pain both in that local area as well as in other areas of the body. The root cause of pain is the constriction of the fascia as it encloses around the injured muscle. This constriction is causing pain and if it isn’t released, the pain may increase in duration as well as in severity. Manual manipulation of these trigger points loosens the constricted fascia, thereby releasing the muscles and tendons to work as they should.
Why Does Myofascial Release Hurt?
If you have ever had an injury of any kind you know that when you touch it or bump it there will be a certain degree of pain. Bearing this in mind, consider the fact that the trigger point is the location of the injury. As the remedial massage therapist manipulates that trigger point to release the constriction, there is obviously going to be pain to a lesser or greater degree. Similar in concept to massage, manipulation is the application of pressure to break the bond that is keeping the fascia constricted.
You could think of it as a similar concept to a physician snapping a dislocated joint into place, although this is obviously an extreme example. Whilst the joint is dislocated you are in continual pain every time you try to move that particular socket. The chiropractor or physician takes the two connecting bones and ‘manipulates’ them back into the joint so you get movement back. You have suffered pain with the dislocated joint but there is that one moment of quite severe pain when the bone is worked back into place.
Then, after a short time of healing, the pain is gone for good. That’s a good analogy to myofascial release. The therapist applying pressure on the trigger point will necessarily hurt because that is where the injury is! However, once the constricted fascia is unbound, loosened, from the injured muscle, the pain will go away. It may take a day or it may take a week but the encouraging news is that it will go away.
A Few Words about the Myofascial Body, Mind and Spirit Connection
Quite often the injury you are suffering is the result of a stress that has caused you to constrict that particular muscle over and over until it is tense and excruciatingly sore. This is not a physical injury, per se, but rather a side effect of tension. The ‘injury’ is no less painful but it was not necessarily brought on by blunt force trauma or illness. One of the goals your remedial massage therapist will set is to determine whether or not that particular injury is in any way, shape or form related to stress, emotional factors, past traumatic events, or illnesses. Once your myofascia is released, all that tension dissolves and you then achieve a great degree of healing in your psyche as well as in your body. This will also hurt on another level as you are letting go of that which caused the stress. Emotional and spiritual pain are often even more painful than physical injuries so it stands to reason that as you let go of those feelings, there will be some degree of pain associated with it as well. Unfortunately, there is no way in which to disassociate the body from the emotional and the spiritual so you need to prepare yourself to hurt a bit for a short duration in order to heal for the long term.
The bottom line is that there will always be some amount of discomfort or pain as those myofascial bonds are released. Yet the good news is that once they are released the pain is gone on more than one level. A professional massage therapist trained in the technique of myofascial release will seek to help heal you in body, mind and spirit. Letting go of that tension will hurt, but as the old saying goes, “No pain, no gain.” It won’t hurt a lot and the hurt won’t go on forever. Just breathe through it naturally and let go of the tension. You’ll be surprised at just how great you feel after just one or two sessions.