Myofascial adhesion is a term rarely used outside of the massage therapy industry. Additionally, Myofascial adhesions are a major contributor of pain to the residents of Hampton Roads as well as most of the world’s population. Yet the average person is not aware of the term.
The longer chronic pain exists, the longer the rehabilitation period. As a rule of thumb, for every year chronic pain is experienced, it takes at least a month of rehabilitation to restore balance to the body. For this reason, chronic pain is often never relieved. The body adapts and we accept living with the pain. In many cases, it’s because clients are not aware of fascia and the mysterious myofascial adhesion.
Fascia is a connective tissue within the body. Think of your entire body wrapped in fishnet hose both internally and externally including each individual bone, nerve, and muscle. Over time, fishnet hose get entangled and require adjustment. If not, you develop an impingement. Fascia works in the same manner. Once fascia becomes entangled, impingement occurs. It may impinge blood circulation, muscle movement, or nerves within the body. Over time, myofascial adhesions occur as a result of unattended impingements. You may feel tingling or cold extremities due to poor blood circulation and/or nerve impingements. You may feel extreme tightness or lack flexibility in certain muscles while having extreme pain or pulling sensations in counteracting muscles. Knots develop over time known as Trigger Points. And then there is the ultimate myofascial adhesion, scar tissue. Yes, all of the above mentioned forms of chronic pain can be a result of myofascial adhesions. Myofascial adhesions occur for many reasons. Injury, illness, inactivity, lifestyle, job type, nutrition, dehydration, and the aging process all play a contributing role in the development of myofascial adhesions.
The natural emotional response to a myofascial adhesion is to develop a guarded nature from the pain. However, this only encourages further development of the adhesions. Movement is essential to breakdown the adhesions.
Massage therapist can utilize many techniques from various modalities to relieve adhesions. Oils warm and relax the body to create an environment for maximum manipulation with minimum pain. This is particularly effective addressing the guarded factor. Once the muscles are warmed up; vibration, compression, and friction can be effective in breaking down adhesions. Stretching, traction, and range of motion movements help restore lost flexibility and reduce nerve impingements. The long and flowing strokes of a Swedish full body massage encourages blood circulation. Nourished blood flow though out the body further facilitates the healing process.
There is no quick fix to breaking down myofascial adhesions, temporary relief can be obtained via many sources of pain relief. However, a regular regimen is the likely solution for permanent relief once myofascial adhesions develop.
Suggestions to avoid the development of myofascial adhesions:
- Drink lots of water
- Be conscious of your posture
- Stretch and exercise regularly
- Be conscious of your eating habits
- Be aware of the emotional aspect of pain and avoid developing a guarded nature
- Be conscious of pain in its early stages and address it before chronic pain develops
- Enjoy life but weigh the consequences and be aware moderation may avoid injury
A body that receives massage therapy on a regularly basis feels entirely different from a body that doesn’t. The primary difference is the level of myofascial adhesions present.