What is fascia? Fascia is the fluid matrix that holds everything in our body in place and separates muscles and organs to allow things to glide independently with our body’s motion. Fascia is connected throughout our entire body and surrounds our nerves, blood vessels, muscles, organs, spinal cord and brain – essentially EVERYTHING! Fascia is an amazing, interconnected network that communicates throughout our body and allows us to do the incredible things that humans do!
But alas, there is a dark side to fascia. Our bodies are built to withstand trauma, whether it’s physical, emotional or mental and is also built to accommodate and compensate in order to maintain as much function as possible despite the trauma. Throughout our life, we are subjected to microtraumas that occur throughout every day – repetitive motion, prolonged sitting, working out, getting bad news, work stress, family stress, budgets, deadlines, etc. We also deal with much larger traumas such as car accidents, major injuries, abuse, the death of a loved one, giving birth, being born (imagine what a little tiny baby goes through to make it into this world!), etc. In our busy lives, we often don’t have time to really work through all of these traumas and let our bodies heal from them – we just go on with our everyday lives, completely oblivious to what our body is doing behind the scenes. It builds up over time and eventually leads to decreased fluid mobility, dehydration and crystallization of the fascia which then leads to immobility in that area. It would be simple if we could just find that one area, release the tension and introduce the fluid mobility back into the area. Unfortunately, it doesn’t work that way. Since the fascia is all connected throughout our body, one dysfunctional area will wreak havoc on other areas as well and it’s a snowball effect.
A sweater vest is made from one single piece of yarn – it’s all connected. If you pull on one area of the sweater vest, it will affect every other area of the vest to a certain degree.
Now let’s get back to how myofascial release can help people to avoid surgery.
Surgery should always be a last resort in the pain and orthopedic world (excluding emergency surgeries), but often, people feel like they’ve tried everything and that surgery is their only option. Most people that I see have never heard of Myofascial Release and are very surprised to find out that the John F. Barnes technique is actually quite gentle, yet yields incredible results. I’ll give you an example of a patient with knee pain that had tried everything they could think of (massage, chiropractic, acupuncture, laser, injections, physical therapy, etc) and their only other option seemed to be surgery. On their first visit, I looked at their entire body and found that they had significant postural abnormalities, that they were very tight on one side of their back and their shoulder was much lower on that side, the opposite foot was pointing outwards, their arch had flattened and that their pelvis was completely shifted. I did a quick assessment of their knee, but I could tell that the pain was coming from somewhere else. After releasing their back, hip, pelvis, improving their pelvic alignment and releasing areas of their opposite leg, they no longer had knee pain! They couldn’t believe that I never really treated their knee, yet their pain was gone. I reassessed their posture after a few visits and it was much more symmetrical and I did not see tightness and pulling throughout their back and leg. No surgery needed!
The other thing that myofascial release is very helpful with is deferring the need for a total joint replacement. If someone has a joint that is bone-on-bone with severe arthritis, there is no way that we are going to fix the bony surfaces themselves. But, if we can release the tension and pressure that are being exerted from other areas of the body and open up the joint space and the capsular tissue that is surrounding the joint, the person may have much less pain and be able to function without needing a total joint replacement. Total joint replacements are necessary for some, but they are a very major and intense surgery that sometimes come with a long and painful rehabilitation. And guess what – the surgery doesn’t fix any of the tightness or restrictions that was causing tension and stress on the joint in the first place. Often, people still have pain and issues even after a total joint replacement. SEE US AT SOLSTICE PT FIRST!!! Even if someone does end up needing total joint replacement, their recovery will be so much better if they have Myofascial Release first to eliminate all of the other issues that will likely affect their recovery after surgery.
Please contact us if you have any questions about how Myofascial Release with Karen at Dynamic Myofascial Release can help you avoid surgery!
Phone: (619) 823-9478
**This is not to be considered medical advice, please contact a physical therapist or other healthcare professional for more information. All content is created for informational purposes only and is not to be taken as medical advice, treatment or diagnosis.