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Self Myofascial Massage: Self-Massage or Myofascial Release Tool

Top 9 Tools for Independent Myofascial Relaxation

Due to injuries and stress on the body, fascial tissue loses its elasticity and flexibility with age. This leads to tension in the body and shortening of the fascia, resulting in sore muscles, limited joint mobility, and tension in your back. These symptoms are familiar to those leading a sedentary lifestyle, experiencing constant stress, or engaging in active sports.

To combat these discomforting sensations, one of the simplest and most accessible methods of fascial restoration may help – self miofascial release (trigger point massage). In most cases, such self-myofascial relaxation technique utilizes special equipment.

In this article, we will delve into the main tools for performing myofascial release and the effects they will have on the path to body relaxation.

Myofascial Release
as an Effective Way to Improve Well-Being

What is self myofascial release? The concept is not entirely clear to the average person but is quite popular among massage therapists, physiotherapists, and fitness trainers. Thus, myofascial release (MFR) is a popular direction of recovery techniques in fitness or professional sports, which is performed independently by a person using special massage rollers, balls, or sticks. It has virtually no contraindications and is suitable for people of all ages. The movements performed with this equipment aim to release of fascia of the human body.

Historical background: MFR has been practiced since the 1960s. The method was initiated by two American doctors, osteopath Robert Ward and physical therapist John F. Barnes.

The name itself describes its purpose:

Thus, myofascial release is a complex of methods and techniques aimed at relaxing muscles and fascia throughout the body. This method gained worldwide attention when the famous physiotherapist Janet Travell managed to relieve acute back pain for the 35th President of the United States, John F. Kennedy.

Performing myofascial release is possible through self-massage using special equipment and techniques. Massage therapy helps maintain the flexibility and mobility of the fascia, helps maintain good posture, relieves the body from feelings of stiffness, tightness, and discomfort, protects the connective tissues from injury, and helps the fascia recover quickly after exertion.

At the same time, deep-tissue massage can help relieve symptoms such as headaches, painful sensations in the upper back and lower back, increased excitability, drowsiness, skin problems, and skeletal issues. Combined with classical therapeutic methods, fascia massage can be a good way to combat musculoskeletal issues, excess weight, or cellulite.

You should consult a physiotherapist, sports medicine doctor, trainer, or instructor to relieve sore muscles at home.

What Is Fascia?

Performing myofascial massage is impossible without understanding the structure and characteristics of fascia. It is the “soft skeleton” – a thin connective tissue membrane that covers the components of the human body: soft tissue, internal organs, tendons, vascular-nervous bundles, and muscles.

Fascia’s structure includes structural proteins such as collagen and elastin, which bind water molecules and facilitate the sliding process of layers. Fascia contains 10 times more nerve endings than muscles, directly affecting our flexibility and range of motion.

In its normal state, fascia is always soft, elastic, and mobile, but fascial covering loses its properties with age, under the influence of trauma or mechanical stress. Overstrain and restriction of its mobility worsen blood flow in vessels, reduce the tone of adjacent fascia, and lead to their adhesion, thus causing the appearance of painful areas called trigger points.

Preventing the formation of interfascial adhesions, ensuring optimal body mobility and good posture, as well as pain relief, can be achieved through effective myofascial release therapy techniques.

What Do You Need to Know about Trigger Points?

These are areas of hyperactivity in the connective tissue, where there is a sensation upon pressure. Such areas form in the skeletal muscles or muscle fasciae and are conventionally divided into:

If you feel pain and tension in the fascia for a long time, consider using myofascial release tools.

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Best Myofascial Release Tools on the Market for Fascia Release

Equipment for performing myofascial release is specialized tools designed to loosen tight connective tissue (fascia) around muscles. These tools provide relief from acute muscle and chronic pain.

Each of the best products has its own advantages, but the choice often depends on personal preferences. So, let’s briefly describe 9 best myofascial release tools:

Lacrosse
ball
for trigger
points

Smooth balls with spikes or grooves, single balls for massaging areas around the neck and shoulders. Double balls for massaging both sides of the spine, for example, in cases of hernias.

A small but sturdy tool for identifying and relieving trigger points.

Used for all muscle groups, especially in target areas and muscle knots, suitable for massaging calf muscles and buttocks.

Can be used for holding exercises and rolling techniques using body weight.

Massage
gun
for percussion
massage

Massager tool with multiple heads and vibration settings.

Relieves fatigue and tension after intense workouts, helps recover from injuries and alleviates acute muscle pain.

Suitable for home use, in the gym, and while traveling.

Foam
roller

Tools include devices like foam:
Classic foam roller JFIT (36 inches).
High-density foam roller LuxFit.
Grid roller Trigger Point for deep tissue massage with high-pressure displacement.

Suitable for releasing fascia in large body areas, it shows effectiveness when you use your body weight.

Massage sticks

A popular tool, some models come with vibrating mechanisms.

A cheap and easy-to-use option. Sticks are designed for releasing major muscle groups, especially in the legs.

Muscle work is done with up and down movements.

Sticks
for myofascial
trigger
points

Specifically designed to release tension and relieve pain in the pelvic floor area.

Miofascial
tool
for relaxing
back muscles

Includes:
– Body Back Buddy
– Backjoy Trigger Point
– Massager Thera Cane

Instrument
for myofascial
scraping or Gua Sha

A handheld tool for scraping the skin and soft tissues.
Pressure is applied to release to break down muscle adhesions.

Stimulating scrubbing promotes better circulation and blood flow, reduces inflammation, and can help damaged tissues heal, preventing scar tissue formation.

Cold
massage
rollers

Fitness cryosphere roller

Combination of low temperatures and myofascial release. Cold therapy reduces delayed-onset muscle soreness (DOMS) and muscle damage.

Compression
boots

Option for enhancing blood flow and metabolism in muscle tissue.

Effective for reducing DOMS and aiding in recovery after physical exertion.

A promising tool for recovery, overall relaxation, and rejuvenation.

If you’re looking for a post-workout recovery option where you can perform exercises without discomfort, choose one of the presented myofascial massage tools.

What to Pay Attention to When
Choosing Tools for Myofascial Release?

Using a myofascial release tool ensures the execution of the best tissue release techniques that provide a deep-tissue massage.

 

Myofascial instruments are useful not only for improving joint range of motion and muscle recovery without reducing muscle performance but also for pre-workout preparation and reducing delayed-onset muscle soreness after and between workouts. Favorite among many physiotherapists, these tools are perfect for performing any type of myofascial release, including self-relaxation at home.

To choose the right tool for your sessions, you need to consider several important indicators:

FAQ

Why is it important to use fascia massage tools?

You can release the fascia, increase joint range of motion and productivity before and after workouts, and reduce muscle soreness post-exercise. Using a set of tools will make the impact on the fascia more effective, meaning you’ll forget about fascial pain and tension for a long time.

What are the correct techniques for myofascial release?

The choice of myofascial release technique depends on the tool you’re using. Perform the procedure before any dynamic/static stretching exercises or as part of a warm-up routine.

Use the tool on dense and tense tissues or those you’ve focused on during your workout. Avoid intense mechanical pressure on the targeted area until you find the most painful spot.

What are the advantages of myofascial release tools?

Proper use of techniques improves joint mobility, enhances post-workout productivity, prevents injuries, and reduces neuromuscular fatigue. Thus, it positively impacts quality of life and cognitive abilities.

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MASSAGE BLISS AND BODYWORK:
415 West Huron street, L1, Chicago, 60654, Illinois,USA

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Contact Massage Bliss and Bodywork for comprehensive support for your well-being. Our programs offer a comprehensive approach to your health and special discounts on services.

Hours

Mon-Fri: 10am-8pm
Sat-Sun: 10am-6pm
MASSAGE BLISS AND BODYWORK:
415 West Huron street, L1, Chicago, 60654, Illinois,USA
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