[vc_row css_animation=”” row_type=”row” use_row_as_full_screen_section=”no” type=”full_width” angled_section=”no” text_align=”left” background_image_as_pattern=”without_pattern”][vc_column][vc_separator type=”transparent”][vc_column_text]Have you ever gone all out on a workout just to wake up and feel so much soreness you feel immobile ? Or perhaps you spent all day busy at work stuck at your desk ignoring the pain spasms from sitting too long. Well there is a reason for that discomfort and better yet there is a solution.[/vc_column_text][vc_separator type=”transparent”][vc_column_text]It has been suggested that the term myofascial therapy was first used in 1981 at Michigan State University in a manual therapy related course (McKenney et al. 2013).  It didn’t receive much attention until it was highlighted in the Journal of Bodywork and Movement Therapies in a paper titled, “The Basic Science of Myofascial Release— Morphologic Changes in Connective Tissue,” where it was defined as “a hands-on soft tissue technique that facilitates a stretch into the restricted fascia” and “after a few releases the tissue will become softer and more pliable” (Barnes, 1997).[/vc_column_text][vc_separator type=”transparent”][vc_column_text]So what exactly is myofascial therapy?[/vc_column_text][vc_separator type=”transparent”][vc_column_text]Myofascial therapy also known simply as SMR(self-myofascial release) is a soft tissue therapy for the treatment of a person’s muscle/fascia immobility and pain. It improves gliding of structures including skin, fat, fascia and affects the nervous system through interaction with mechanoreceptors.[/vc_column_text][vc_separator type=”transparent”][vc_column_text]Chances are you have heard about SMR at your gym, through your physical therapist or you saw it on your favorite Instagram influencers feed. This is because the therapy has become increasingly popular for improving mobility, preventing injury, augmenting performance, and aiding in recovery from movement/ exercise.[/vc_column_text][vc_separator type=”transparent”][vc_column_text]So, is this a legitimate therapy or just hype?[/vc_column_text][vc_separator type=”transparent”][vc_column_text]Well, as the body of research continues to grow it is clear that SMR is safe and effective for numerous outcomes. Find a list below of all the current SMR theories.[/vc_column_text][vc_separator type=”transparent”][vc_column_text]


[/vc_column_text][vc_separator type=”transparent”][vc_column_text]Transient decreases in the pain or discomfort that we feel when we challenge the physiological barrier of movement of a joint or soft tissue.[/vc_column_text][vc_separator type=”transparent”][vc_column_text]


[/vc_column_text][vc_separator type=”transparent”][vc_column_text]Think of this one as the internal drug cabinet we all have in our brains. Pain relief is induced through descending modulation from our brain. Numerous neurotransmitters, including serotonin, vasopressin, oxytocin, adenosine, endocannabinoids, and endogenous opioids have been shown to act to turn down the volume or completely eliminate pain output.[/vc_column_text][vc_separator type=”transparent”][vc_column_text]


[/vc_column_text][vc_separator type=”transparent”][vc_column_text]The somatosensory cortex is located within the parietal lobe of the brain. This region of the brain is receptive to the sense of touch and assists with clearing pain-related “default signals”. Think of this as hitting the “reboot” button on your computer to refresh movement and pain signals. We are simply using mechanical stimulation via SMR and quality movement patterns to engage that part of the brain..[/vc_column_text][vc_separator type=”transparent”][vc_column_text]


[/vc_column_text][vc_separator type=”transparent”][vc_column_text]Dehydrating tissue followed by rehydrating affords a window of opportunity to challenge your physiological barrier of movement and get more range of motion in between. A sponge full of water is more difficult to deform while a dry sponge is much easier to stretch/twist/deform.[/vc_column_text][vc_separator type=”transparent”][vc_column_text]


[/vc_column_text][vc_separator type=”transparent”][vc_column_text]Assists the different layers of fascia to glide over one another more easily (Tozzi, 2012). Some researchers have presented evidence in favor of the direct effects of manual therapy techniques on adhesions, including the French surgeon Dr. Guimberteau.[/vc_column_text][vc_separator type=”transparent”][vc_column_text]


[/vc_column_text][vc_separator type=”transparent”][vc_column_text]Many people believe that SMR involves putting pressure on a “trigger point” and staying there until it somehow goes away. It should be noted that the term trigger point means different things to different people. For some it just means a tender spot on the body that is tender to the touch.[/vc_column_text][vc_separator type=”transparent”][vc_column_text]For others it refers to a specific pathology and diagnosis. The standardized definition refers to a hyperirritable nodule within a palpable taut band that elicits a twitching response to palpation. Trigger points are thought to be caused by a metabolic crisis in the muscle cells, which causes chemical irritation in the local area and, for some unknown reason, refers to pain in other areas when pressed.[/vc_column_text][vc_separator type=”transparent”][vc_column_text]


[/vc_column_text][vc_separator type=”transparent”][vc_column_text]A problem with the notion that SMR breaks up fascial adhesions is that the effects are usually very short-lived. Why do we have to roll the same area over and over again? The temporary nature of the results strongly suggests a nervous system mediated mechanism for efficacy, not a structural one.[/vc_column_text][vc_separator type=”transparent”][vc_column_text]

So, why SMR?

[/vc_column_text][vc_separator type=”transparent”][vc_column_text]Well, here are just some benefits you can expect to see when consistently doing SMR. Increase blood flow, inflammation reduction, muscular range of motion improvement, muscle soreness reduction, quick recovery promotion, reduction of arterial stiffness.[/vc_column_text][vc_separator type=”transparent”][vc_column_text]But beware of the misconceptions, some people think we can melt fascia or “ turn off” muscle, others focus way too much on hitting a trigger point and believe that the deeper the release, the better. But this simply isn’t the case. If you are not sore after performing SMR, that’s okay! We don’t have to feel like we got hit by a truck in order for the therapy to be effective.[/vc_column_text][vc_separator type=”transparent”][vc_column_text]Myofascial release and all related synonyms (foam rolling, trigger point release, fascial release, self massage) are therapies that work on the skeletal system, muscles and fascia of the body to help treat immobility and pain. And with SMART goals, consistency and practice you too can feel the benefits of self-myofascial release.[/vc_column_text][vc_separator type=”transparent”][vc_column_text]


[/vc_column_text][vc_separator type=”transparent”][vc_column_text]RESEARCH RESEARCH ARCHIVE ACUTE EFFECTS ON FLEXIBILITY The following studies were identified: Mikesky (2002), MacDonald (2013), Sullivan (2013), Howe (2013), Roylance (2013), Halperin (2014), Jay (2014),BRADbury-Squires (2014), Peacock (2014), Grieve (2015), Škarabot (2015), Cho (2015), Behara (2015), Bushell (2015), Marcovic (2015). Of these studies, 12 reported significant increases in flexibility while the remainder reported no effects. Self-myofascial release therefore appears to increase flexibility acutely.[/vc_column_text][vc_separator type=”transparent”][vc_column_text]ACUTE EFFECTS ON ATHLETIC PERFORMANCE The following studies were identified: Mikesky (2002), Sullivan (2013), Janot (2013), Halperin (2014), Healy (2014), Peacock (2014), Behara (2015). None of these studies found any adverse effects on athletic performance as a result of self- myofascial release. One study found a benefit. This is in contrast to static stretching which has often been found to display adverse acute effects, as written in this research article: Journal of Sports Medicine Volume 2013, Article ID 481490 This is why our time is better spent riding the RAD Mobility Continuum. Research is conflicting whether stretching increases risk of injury or hinders performance because there are so many confounding variables.[/vc_column_text][vc_separator type=”transparent”][vc_column_text]ACUTE EFFECTS ON MUSCLE SORENESS The following studies were identified: Howe (2013), MacDonald (2014), Jay (2014), Pearcey (2015). Of the 4 studies, 3 reported that self-myofascial release reduces sensations of delayed onset muscle soreness (DOMS).[/vc_column_text][vc_separator type=”transparent”][vc_column_text]CHRONIC EFFECTS ON FLEXIBILITY The following studies were identified: Miller (2006), Ebrahim (2013), Mohr (2014), Bushell (2015), Junker (2015). Of these 5 studies, 3 reported that self-myofascial release leads to increased flexibility over long-term periods of time, although the quality of these studies is lower than in other areas and the changes reported by Mohr et al. (2014) may not have reached significance (see Vigotsky, 2015;[/vc_column_text][vc_separator type=”transparent”][/vc_column][/vc_row]

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