If you experience pain or tension throughout your body, you may want to consider trying myofascial release exercises and massage. This specific form of massage focuses on finding trigger points throughout the body where the myofascial tissues are tight and inflexible. These tissues support the muscles, and when they get tense, they can restrict motion and lead to pain.
In a myofascial massage, your practitioner would locate these pain points by looking for places where the tissues feel tense and stiff to the touch. Ideally, these tissues should be easy to manipulate with light pressure. By applying pressure and stretching the tight myofascial tissues, you can reduce pain throughout your body. Something interesting to note is that a tense myofascial tissue in one part of the body can sometimes cause pain in a completely different part of the body. This is because of the way the entire muscular system is connected.
While a professional myofascial massage is very helpful, there are also myofascial release exercises that you can do to loosen the tissues and manage pain on your own. Here are some of the best myofascial practices to try at home.
You may have seen people using foam rollers at the gym and wondered what they are for. Foam rollers are an excellent way to give yourself a myofascial massage. You can use them on your quads, calves, back, and virtually any other large muscles on your body. To foam roll, lie with the target muscle on top of the roller, and gently move back and forth, using your body weight to apply pressure.
To target smaller, tighter muscles that you can’t access with a foam roller, try using a ball to roll out instead. You can use a tennis ball, lacrosse ball, or even a golf ball. These are particularly great for getting into tight areas like your hips or shoulder blades. For the most effective results on your back, you will want to take two tennis balls and put them into a sock. Position the balls, so one is on either side of your spine as you are lying down. Using your legs, very gently glide your body back and forth over the balls. You can use this technique with a single ball on many other muscles in your body, including under your feet.
You don’t have to do these myofascial release exercises for long to start seeing results. Just a few minutes on a ball or foam roller after your workout each day can help you feel more mobile the next day. You may also notice that chronic pain is easier to manage or even completely goes away, depending on its root cause. Myofascial exercises are easy to do at home, and they can make a huge difference in how you feel.