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Myofascial Release

What is it?

Myofascial Release (MFR) is a form of manual therapy used to manipulate and target the soft connective tissue causing restricted and painful movements. This connective tissue called fascia both supports and creates a protective sheath around muscles and other structural elements of the body such as nerves, blood vessels, bones, and joints. Within the fascia is a fluid component called the extracellular matrix (ECM) which under normal conditions lubricates and allows the muscles to remain elastic and slide over each other easily. During regular physical activity the ECM releases collagen proteins into the watery base creating a gel-like consistency. When the body is put under stressful conditions such as dehydration, repetitive movements/positions, long periods of inactivity, or over exertion, the ECM decreases in the amount of water it contains causing it to thicken. When the ECM thickens it creates friction between the muscle fibers which is felt as painful movements as it not only affects the muscle, but also the nerves it’s attached to. If the body experiences repetitive stressful conditions the ECM remains thick and the collagen proteins are capable of binding together to form adhesions or knots that reduce the length of muscles and range of motion of joints. These knots also called Trigger Points are the focus of what physical therapists look for during myofascial release to break up tension and tightness. A trigger point may be a location where pain originates, but over time contributes to discomfort felt elsewhere in other parts of the body.

Typical tools utilized during MFR application are nothing more than just hands and an oil free skin surface to allow for better contact and intentional force solely applied on hardened areas created by the restricted fascia. This is a major difference from massage therapy where lubricants are used to allow the hands to glide easily to rub (massage) large areas of the body.

Myofascial Release Benefits

How can it help me?

The most common reason for undergoing myofascial release (MFR) is to resolve a recurring pain that has reduced flexibility and movement. This makes this form of therapeutic intervention especially beneficial for people with conditions such as fibromyalgia who constantly experience pain or athletes, dancers, or construction workers who may over exert themselves as part of their occupation. Other people who experience tension from lack of mobility, dehydration, or repetitive movements, can also reap the rewards of MFR. This can include stay at home moms, the elderly, those that work at a desk, teachers, and more. A single session of physical therapy won’t offer long-term relief. However, regularly receiving myofascial release therapy can:
• improve joint range of motion
• increase muscle length
• reduce soreness
• increase the body’s natural recovery process
• improve circulation‌
• help with fluid drainage
• and relieve stress and induce relaxation

Techniques and Exercises

What we incorporate into our treatments

Myofascial Release can include techniques or exercises such as:

  • Soft tissue mobilization
  • Functional mobilization
  • Foam roller
  • Cupping
  • Massage ball
  • Graston Technique Therapy (IASTM)
  • Other manual tools

Who is eligible for Myofascial Release

Common symptoms and conditions

  • Chronic pain
  • Muscle tension and tightness
  • Muscle spasms
  • Limited mobility
  • Acute pain or injuries.
  • Osteoarthritis
  • Back pain
  • Neck pain
  • Muscle strains
  • Shoulder pain
  • Joint pain
  • Headaches
  • Fibromyalgia
  • Temporo-Mandibular Joint (TMJ) disorder
  • Carpal tunnel syndrome

Contraindications include:

  • Healing fractures
  • Malignancy
  • Aneurysm
  • Advanced diabetes
  • Acute rheumatoid arthritis
  • Severe osteoporosis
  • Fragile & fractured bones
  • Burns
  • Painful or open wounds
  • Allergic reactions (oils, gels, lotions)
  • Internal bleeding
  • Nerve damage
  • Paralysis
  • Metabolic health conditions
  • Issues with deep veins
  • Patients taking blood thinners

your team

Ready To Get Your Body Working Better!

Brooklyn Body Works Physical Therapy is staffed with a professional and caring team of experts with clinical experience in utilizing Myofascial Release. Browse through our physical therapist profiles to learn how they can help you with restoring functionality.

Serving Williamsburg Brooklyn Since 2006

Quality care that’s accessible

Brooklyn Body Works Physical Therapy began as an idea to bring the highest quality physical therapy to all people in our community. We wanted to offer the best that NYC has in health care while not marginalizing people based on socioeconomic boundaries (race, income, language, religion, etc). We offer a “concierge style service” and continue to accept many commercial insurances, medicare and even medicaid policies.

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common faq's

Since this is a physical therapy session which will require a physical examination and therapeutic exercise (varies by patient), we ask all our patients to come prepared. Please come dressed in loose fitted clothing that will allow for easy mobility, comfort, and access to the area of complaint. In addition we recommend sneakers with soles that grip to prevent slips or falls.

The need for a referral depends on what type of insurance you have. Most insurance plans do not require one, however some insurances do. For example, if you have HIP, you will need a referral from your primary care physician. We ask that you check to see what your health insurance plan requires prior to your initial visit. If you are unsure, please contact our front office and we’ll do our best to determine whether or not you require a referral.

To get in contact with us, click on the following link to view information pertaining to each office.

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Each patients case and diagnosis is unique and requires the development of an individualized plan of care. Your physical therapist will give you an estimate of the number of sessions needed to reach a level of “feeling better”, during your initial evaluation.

Over time the number of visits may increase or decrease from the initial estimate, based on the progress made.

Brooklyn Body Works Physical Therapy accepts many of the available major insurance plans as well as alternate payment options, including cash/self-pay, to make our services accessible and affordable. Please visit the link below to view all information pertaining to Payment Options.

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For more answers to frequently asked questions,
please visit our dedicated FAQ's page.

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