Myofascial release (or MFR) is an alternative medicine therapy that claims to treat skeletal muscle immobility and pain by relaxing contracted muscles and fascia, improving blood and lymphatic circulation, and stimulating the stretch reflex in muscles.
Fascia is a thin, tough, elastic type of connective tissue that wraps most structures within the human body, including muscle. Fascia supports and protects these structures. Osteopathic theory proposes that this soft tissue can become restricted due to disease, overuse, trauma, infectious agents, or inactivity, often resulting in pain, muscle tension, and corresponding diminished blood flow. MFR aims to release these “adhesions” and aid in the healing process.
Merriam-Webster defines massage as the manipulation of tissues (as by rubbing, kneading, or tapping) with the hand or an instrument for therapeutic purposes that aims to promote circulation, suppleness, or relaxation.
MFR and massage therapy works well as a stand-alone therapy or in combination with a chiropractic treatment plan to assist and speed up the healing process.