Fascia and Fascia Release
Fascia is a connective tissue that surrounds muscles, blood vessels, nerves and organs. Fascia binds these structures together and allows for them to slide smoothly over one another. If the fascia surrounding the muscles is tight or dry, it will affect a person’s flexibility and even cause injury.
When a person is experiencing pain in a certain area of the body, it usually means that your body is compensating in one way or another which will lead to pain. Fascia release is tissue therapy of skeletal muscle immobility and pain. The therapy aims to relax contracted muscles, improve blood circulation, and stimulate the stretch reflex in muscles. In essence, it gives you better flexibility and range of motion to move throughout the day or to try and engage more muscles just before your workout. The better range of motion a person has, the less compensating the body will do, the less pain you will have!
Do I Need Fascia Release?
Yes, fascia release is recommended for everyone except people who are hypermobile, but highly recommended for people who have tightness throughout the body. If you go throughout your day with movement like getting in or out of a chair, bending over to pick up the paper, tie your shoes, or even using the bathroom then yes you need fascia release to avoid injury.
When is the best time to do this?
Since mobility and flexibility is important in our everyday lives, you should use fascia release every day in order to avoid injury. This is especially true right before a workout. Since fascia release improves your flexibility and range of motion, doing it as a warm up before your workout will allow for you to engage more muscles during the exercises. On the days you do not exercise, do it early in the morning to get your day started because that is when the muscles in your body are “achy” and need a good warm up to get going.
Tennis Ball Magic!
Fascia release can be accomplished in many ways with a number of different products. One of the best tools for fascia release is using a simple tennis ball. There are other products to use but a tennis ball is pin point and accurate. Depending on where the tightness is at, there are a number of exercises that must be done in a sequence leading up to the area of tightness in order to make sure your body isn’t compensating anywhere else. Just because the pain is in a certain area, that doesn’t mean that is the cause of the pain. Our bodies will compensate and the cause for the pain will be coming from a different area. So if your low back is tight, we would give you exercises that start all the way at the bottom of the foot then work on the calf, the quadriceps, hamstrings, glutes, and finally the low back.
Another reason why we like to work with the tennis ball is because you can take it with you anywhere you go. So don’t make any excuses on why you cannot do these simple but effective exercises.
For more information please get a hold of either Juan Guerrero or Lisa Wright at YPB Training Studio.
Ganfiled, Lisa. “Myofascial Therapy for the Treatment of Acute and Chronic Pain.” Spine-health. 20 Feb. 2007. Web. 3 Dec. 2014. <http://www.spine-health.com/treatment/physical-therapy/myofascial-therapy-treatment-acute-and-chronic-pain>.
Vogel, Adam. “Beginner’s Guide to Self Myofascial Release.” Pure Performance Training. Web. 3 Dec. 2014. <http://www.pureperformancetraining.com/blog/a-beginner039s-guide-to-selfmyofascial-release>.