Before we talk about myofascial therapy it is important to understand the fascia. Fascia is the network of collagen fibers inside your body that covers, penetrates and connects every muscle, bone, nerve, blood vessel, even supports organs. It is actually one continuous structure that exists from head to toe. We are taught in school that all muscles have an origin and insertion and perform certain functions. Muscles don’t simply attach to bone. Instead the fascia that surrounds the muscle becomes more dense until it becomes a tendon then becomes more dense still as it becomes bone. This blending of fascia occurs up and downstream so that all of your muscles work together in concert to perform complex movements. You can’t test the biceps with an elbow flexion test without also engaging the forearm and shoulder muscles. A kink anywhere along this line will cause the muscle to test weak or elicit some pain. Conversely, a restriction in the antagonist muscle like the triceps is to the biceps, can make the bicep test weak. It’s no longer lifting a 35 lb weight, it now feels like a 50 lb weight.
Healthy fascia has the ability to stretch and move without restriction. When one experiences physical trauma such as a fall, car accident, repetitve stress, poor posture, or surgery, the fascia becomes tight and restricted. Emotional stress causes constant muscle tension leading to tightness and pain. Chronic inflammation from unresolved injuries and/or poor diet causes swelling of the fascia. Dehydration makes your fascia more like beef jerky; hard and more apt to tear than stretch. All this tension and pressure causes decreased blood and lymphatic flow, fatigue, pain, and affects flexibility and stability.
There are a myriad of ways that the fascia can become distorted. Most manual therapies only resolve one or two of them. Through his many years of studying and treating fascia, he will determine which technique(s) to encompass in your treatment plan to resolve your issue(s) as quickly as possible.
Since most sites of fascial distortion are already tender, manual therapy can be uncomfortable. However, most patients call it a productive pain and it’s not long lasting. The relief afterwards will be long lasting and Dr. Taylor will make sure that you know how to prevent it from coming back.