Lower back pain is a common problem that affects many patients. It can be caused by a variety of factors such as poor posture, muscle imbalance, or injury. Because of its common occurrence and frequency, lower back pain can become a considerable burden for patients on both a social and economical level.
Treating lower back pain can be a challenge. However, there are many ways in which to treat this condition. One effective option is myofascial release therapy.
What is Fascia?
Fascia is a tough layer of connective tissue that wraps around our muscles, bones, and organs like a sheet. It helps our bodies to maintain its shape, to move smoothly, and to handle stress. Think of it like a strong, flexible suit that holds everything together.
How does myofascial release therapy work?
During myofascial release therapy, your registered massage therapist will apply pressure and stretch the affected area of your body. This kind of massage therapy helps to release tension in the area and to decrease painful trigger points. It is done through a hands-on technique or through the use of specialized tools.
Studies have shown that with chronic lower back pain, lumbar fascia tissue can stiffen and shorten over time and can even reduce flexibility and affect the angle of your pelvis. However, other studies have proven that myofascial release therapy can effectively increase the length and flexibility of tissue, leading to noticeable improvement in the ability to return to your everyday activities.
Can I do myofascial release on myself?
Definitely! Myofascial release technique involves stretching and applying pressure to the affected areas. The use of tools such as a foam roller or a massage ball can help you to reach and target those specific points.
Some precautions to keep in mind when doing self-myofascial release:
- Start slowly: If you are new to myofascial release, start with gentle pressure and gradually increase the intensity over time. Avoid using excessive force or pushing through sharp or intense pain.
- Avoid bony areas: Avoid applying direct pressure to bony areas, instead focussing on the soft tissue surrounding these areas.
- Take breaks: Take breaks between rolling sessions to prevent overuse or irritation of the tissue. A few minutes of rolling followed by a few minutes of rest can be an effective approach.
- Avoid sensitive areas: Avoid rolling over areas that are particularly sensitive such as bruises, inflamed tissues, open wounds, or recent injuries. Instead, focus on surrounding tissue and gradually work your way up to the sensitive area as it heals.
- Stop if it hurts: If you experience sharp or intense pain during rolling, stop immediately and consult with your registered massage therapist or other healthcare professional.
Why myofascial release therapy?
Low back pain is a widespread issue that can be caused by a variety of factors including poor posture, injury, or overuse. Myofascial release techniques, when performed correctly by your registered massage therapist or through self-myofascial work, can help with pain relief and decrease tension in the lower back by releasing restrictions in the fascia. By incorporating myofascial release techniques into your daily routine, you can improve the health and mobility of your myofascial tissue and reduce your risk of developing or exacerbating lower back pain.
If you are experiencing chronic or severe lower back pain, it is important to consult with a healthcare professional to determine the underlying cause of the pain and to develop an appropriate treatment plan. However, incorporating myofascial release techniques into your overall wellness routine can be a helpful complement to traditional treatments and to support your long-term recovery and overall health.