Myofascial therapy is a specific soft tissue technique that targets the fascial tissue that lines all muscles (superficial and deep), viscera and bones. Macroscopically ‘Fascia’ is characteristically identified by being more fibrous (inelastic) than its underlying muscle. Commonly fascia becomes stuck down to muscle tissue and limits its flexible nature.
Ever heard of the person who says ‘I have been stretching my Hamstrings for years and they are just as tight as the day I began’?Surprisingly, fascial tissue is highly innovated by nerves and can be a common source of pain and dysfunction. Myofascial therapy is where the practitioner sinks down to a depth through the skin and subcutaneous tissue so as to pick up the target fascia up off the muscule and then moves either longitudinally (lengthening) or across muscle fibres (broadening or shortening) to separate the two different types of tissues to restore gliding movement and function in which ever direction that is determined in the Body Reading assessment. Body reading will be explained in last paragraph along with what is Anatomy Trains and Structural Integration (SI)?
CAUSES OF FASCIAL PAIN AND DYSFUNCTION
Poor posture habits ( eg sitting slumped) over a medium to long period of time quite often develops into a musculoskeletal dysfunction at some stage of life. People that have a tendancy to be sedentary, inflexible, poor diet and hydration, obese and have a poor kinaesthetic awareness are more predisposed to pain and dysfunction that is directly attributed to bound down poorly hydrated fascial tissue.
Gravity and its downward influence on the body over time is considered to be the main attributing factors to fascial tightness/looseness, contributing to postural disfunctions and pain.
Injury plays a very significant role in the cause and development of myofascial issues. Poor rehabilitation of sports injuries and spinal conditions such as neck and lower back pain is a major contributer to fascial problems in our patients that present with chronic pain.
All Physiotherapists and Exercise Physiologists at Hills Street are trained in and use techniques in the mobilisation, exercising and manipulation of fascial tissue that may compromising normal mechanical and musculoskeletal function.
If you have one of or all of the following symptoms:
1/ Suffer from chronic or have multiple areas of pain with no precipitating reasons
2/ Have pain or disfunction following an injury that hasn’t gotten better when normally you recover quite easily.
3/Always suffer pain and it’s usually affects you on one side of the body
4/ Pain constantly changes from one area of the body to another with no reasonable reason for
5/Or you have difficulty standing up straight and can’t keep your shoulders back or keep your head up………………You would most probably benefit from myofascial mobilisation of some sort.
What is Anatomy Trains, Structural Integration (SI), KMI and Body reading?
Tom Myers thought up the metaphor of Anatomy Trains to make simple a concept of the human body being divided up into meridians of fascial lines much the same as acupuncture meridians which are unrelated. In viewing the Anatomy Trains figure below you can see the different coloured lines going in different directions that represent different fascial meridians.
It has become accepted over the last decade that what was thought to be a musculoskeletal problem in the past may be related to dysfunction in our myofascial system. Most up to date movement therapists all agree that fascia plays a major role in normal or abnormal body postures and function. Not all agree that the Anatomy Trains school of management of pain and dysfunction is the correct model to follow however. As with many other schools of thought that are out there on pain management, they all are similar but vary subtley.
Tom has taken Ida Rolf’s theory on fascial management and has simplified it so that what was normally a complicated system is now more easily taught and used. He has replaced the name of the technique of Rolfing (deep tissue releasing which in a lot of cases conjures up painful therapy) and has introduced Anatomy Trains myofascial techniques under the banner of KMI (Kinesis Myofascial Institute).
Body Reading is a common process used by all therapists to look at a patients presenting postures in different situation to ascertain anomalies so that certain treatment strategies can be used in changing a bodies posture towards a more ideal one (Body Work).
Hills Street has a KMI practitioner that is a trained structural integrater (SI) that work solely on myofascial structures. This work is commonly known as body work. He has been trained by Tom Myers and uses his Anatomy Trains methods for freeing up postural dysfunctions and management of chronic pain. Perhaps booking in for a SI assessment that will determine if a 12 session treatment program may suite your needs.
If any of the above information needs further clarification or you would like to get more info please ring us at hills street and we can give you the answers to the questions that you have.
*Myofascial techniques and exercises are employed as part of a treatment (Physio) or exercise session (in our exercise centre) or can be part of a SI one on one session as explained in second last paragraph above.
Hills Street has a KMI practitioner, Denny Shearwood, who is a trained structural integrator. Denny has been trained by Tom Myers and uses his Anatomy Trains methods for freeing up postural dysfunctions and management of chronic pain. While he incorporates these techniques into his day to day treatment, Denny also runs a 12 session body work program and has had remarkable success.
Should you have any questions or require further information please call our Centre on 43232421 and one of our helpful staff will answer your questions.
Improve your move video, from the Australian Physiotherapy Association: