Myofascial Release Therapy (MFR) for treating compression and pain

What is Myofascial Release (MFR therapy)? How can it relieve pain? Let’s discuss how MFR has improved our health and reduced pain and share articles about how MFR works. MFR helps so many different conditions that have compressed tissues, and entrapped blood vessels and nerves. The time to avoid MFR treatment would be if a person has cancer, because in releasing tight tissues, cancer cells could be released and able to migrate through the body.

Myofascial release is a way to stretch the fascial layers that holds our body together. The fascia is connective tissue that forms a web matrix that interconnects everything in the body. It has recently been described as the “Interstitium” or a new organ in the body.

Fascia can be too tight from injuries or surgical scar tissue, and hold the body in poor ergonomics which can lead to nerve compression. Fascia can be stretched or “released” and it will remodel itself by changing from a semi solid to liquid form which brings circulation to an area of compressed tissue which then expands the tissue and circulation, and it enables removal of metabolic waste products. Using their hands, the trained therapist will find the path of fascial restriction in the patient’s body and push against it gently in a shearing motion, and wait for the tissue to start to slide. The patient can feel the movement and become body aware. This path of fascial movement can reach the full length of the body and cross over between sides. This path changes as it unravels, and often there is a vasomotor response that can be seen on the skin temporarily as a reddish area where circulation has been restored which is shown on the photo below near the therapist’s hands. Treatment must be slow and gentle to prevent the body from guarding in a protective response. This is why aggressive methods to stretch fascia often fail and can cause injuries by tearing the fascia and forming scar tissue that just adds to the problem of fascial tightness.

Fascia also holds tissue memory, and in releasing it, sometimes there is a release of emotions tied to an injury that was a cause of the problem. Stress and injury can cause guarding behavior and tissue tightness that become permanent over time, and MFR and working on emotional health helps a person recover from the physical and emotional effects of stress and trauma on the body.

MFR is helpful to so many conditions that have an underlying physical cause. The physical therapist who developed this treatment method forty years ago is John Barnes. He has developed courses and MFR certifications for physical therapists. There is a lot of information about MFR at myofascialrelease.com as well as directory of therapists treating with MFR. A person may also contact Therapy on the Rocks in Sedona, AZ, and ask for recommendations of therapists who have been trained in the John Barnes Methods. MFR therapy is becoming better known and accepted healing therapy, although there are some doctors who are unaware of the benefits.

I wanted to create this discussion to help organize this information and I thought the Neuropathy group would be a good place to start because someone in pain might look here, but we could have this discussion in many discussion groups. Animals such as dogs, cats and horses have also benefited from this therapy. Hopefully as we collect information here, this discussion can be referenced and shared in the many other discussions on Mayo Clinic Connect.

Here is an incomplete list of conditions that can be helped with MFR treatment.

You may find this list and further information at https://www.myofascialrelease.com/about/problems-mfr-helps.aspx

Back pain
Bladder Problems (Urgency, Frequency, Incontinence, Overactive Bladder, leakage
Birth Injuries
Bulging Disc
Bursitis
Carpal Tunnel Syndrome
Cerebral Palsy
Cervical and Lumbar spine injuries
Chronic Fatigue Syndrome
Chronic Pain
Degenerative Disc Disease
Endometriosis
Emotional Trauma
Fibromyalgia
Frozen Shoulder (Adhesive Capsulitis)
Herniated Disc
Headaches or Migraines
Infertility
Interstitial Cystitis
Menstrual Problems
Myofascial Pain Syndrome
Neck Pain
Osteoarthritis
Pelvic Pain
Plantar Fascitis
Pudental Nerve Entrapment
Scars (hypertrophic, hypersensitive, painful, burn scars, mastectomy scars)
Sciatica
Scoliosis
Shin Splints
Tennis Elbow
Thoracic Outlet Syndrome
Tinnitus (ringing in the ears)
TMJ syndrome
Trigeminal Neuralgia
Vulvodynia
Whiplash

Interested in more discussions like this? Go to the Neuropathy group.

@jesfactsmon

@bustrbrwn22
Hi Jen, I saw your post where you asked whether MFR can help with interstitial cystitis. Linda asked me to relate to you her experience with interstitial cystitis. She had it in college and went to a urologist. He examined her and said her urethra was way too tight and was not allowing her bladder to empty fully because of it. He operated on her to stretch her urethra to open more widely. This was completely effective in Linda's case. And after 53 years she has had no problems with it or problems with urinating normally since then. Whether you and she both had/have the same issue I do not know. I see online that it says there is no cure. But for her case there was. Anyway, thought I would pass it along just in case it is helpful Best, Hank

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@jesfactsmon thanks Hank. Hi to Linda! The urologist that diagnosed me did it back in the day when it was a distension under anesthesia. He told me my bladder had a very large capacity (I was so proud, sarcasm) and everything else looked good. Only thing he could do was try different meds so we did all with painful side effects. I thank god for that now or I might be on the one that causes macular degeneration!

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@bustrbrwn22

@jesfactsmon thanks Hank. Hi to Linda! The urologist that diagnosed me did it back in the day when it was a distension under anesthesia. He told me my bladder had a very large capacity (I was so proud, sarcasm) and everything else looked good. Only thing he could do was try different meds so we did all with painful side effects. I thank god for that now or I might be on the one that causes macular degeneration!

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Hi Jen, I too had a bladder neck distension. They overcorrected it in a total hyster/rectocele surgery. I've had trouble ever since. Ug, horrible surgery and recovery ; re-admitted for infection. BTE, what is the name of the medicine that can cause macular Degeneration? Hope this is a much better than tolerable day for you. Warmest hugs, Sunnyflower 🤗. PS: love your sarcasm LOL. 🤣

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@sunnyflower

Hi Jen, I too had a bladder neck distension. They overcorrected it in a total hyster/rectocele surgery. I've had trouble ever since. Ug, horrible surgery and recovery ; re-admitted for infection. BTE, what is the name of the medicine that can cause macular Degeneration? Hope this is a much better than tolerable day for you. Warmest hugs, Sunnyflower 🤗. PS: love your sarcasm LOL. 🤣

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@sunnyflower I just gave up the side effects of every drug offered were so bad. The drug everyone is talking about is Elmiron. Class action lawsuit pending. It’s been used for many years to treat IC.

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@bustrbrwn22

@sunnyflower I just gave up the side effects of every drug offered were so bad. The drug everyone is talking about is Elmiron. Class action lawsuit pending. It’s been used for many years to treat IC.

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Thx Jen. What is "IC"? 🤗

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@sunnyflower

Thx Jen. What is "IC"? 🤗

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Sunny. Interstitial cystitis

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Yes, of course. Thx for your patience with me. Often btwn 40-50 emails per day and that's not counting the bones/muscles /joints group! I get so far behind, it's overwhelming! Don't want anyone to feel like I'm ignoring them. Hugs, Sunny. 🤗

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@sunnyflower

Yes, of course. Thx for your patience with me. Often btwn 40-50 emails per day and that's not counting the bones/muscles /joints group! I get so far behind, it's overwhelming! Don't want anyone to feel like I'm ignoring them. Hugs, Sunny. 🤗

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@sunnyflower I get the same amount and more like today I had 125 in my box. Here is what I do read them and the ones you have knowledge about I write there handle down so I can reply and see how they are doing . I just wasn't able to keep up so this is only my solution

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Yes, I was pretty conservative on the number I said I get!!! Your strategy is good. My problem is I have so many other responsibilities and such limited time that I feel up to taking care of those time consuming frustrating obligations and they are on many post-its. I have to let go and remind myself that I only can do what I can do; nothing more, nothing less, I know we all feel the same way! Funny creatures we are right? LOL! Hope you're having a good day! Blessings, Sunny

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@sunnyflower

Yes, I was pretty conservative on the number I said I get!!! Your strategy is good. My problem is I have so many other responsibilities and such limited time that I feel up to taking care of those time consuming frustrating obligations and they are on many post-its. I have to let go and remind myself that I only can do what I can do; nothing more, nothing less, I know we all feel the same way! Funny creatures we are right? LOL! Hope you're having a good day! Blessings, Sunny

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@sunnyflower I was just getting overwhelmed so like you have other things to do

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@sunnyflower

Yes, of course. Thx for your patience with me. Often btwn 40-50 emails per day and that's not counting the bones/muscles /joints group! I get so far behind, it's overwhelming! Don't want anyone to feel like I'm ignoring them. Hugs, Sunny. 🤗

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Sunny – everyone should understand that. We shouldn’t assume the worst
If we don’t get a response. Just kindly reach out again.

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@bustrbrwn22

Sunny – everyone should understand that. We shouldn’t assume the worst
If we don’t get a response. Just kindly reach out again.

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Jen you are so right. 😁

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Thank you. I will study this My husband has so many health issues and he has suffered a lot of stress in his life.. I am going to see what will help him. I know that when we have a "good" day, happy, he is not suffering. Interesting.

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