How To Release Myofascial Trigger Points

In this post, we go over (1) how to release myofascial trigger points, (2) when can myofascial release be useful, and (3) what is myofascial pain syndrome.

What is Myofascial Release?

A myofascial release is a practical approach to managing pain and discomfort. Don't expect a gentle massage with aromatherapy and flute music. Instead, myofascial release can be an intense experience.

During a session, a physical therapist, chiropractor or even a masseuse will gently massage, knead and stretch the muscles and fascia to create knots. This technique also involves applying pressure to tense or painful areas to release them.

Pressure is applied with hands, elbows, or massage tools such as foam rollers or balls. You may be sore afterward, but as the pain subsides, you will feel more relaxed than before.

How To Release Myofascial Trigger Points

Myofascial release therapy focuses on reducing pain by reducing tension at specific trigger points in your body. By identifying the specific area of your body responsible for pain, this method aims to restore flexibility and the full range of motion to provide relaxation that benefits most muscles and tissues, and sometimes other parts of the body.

Myofascial release therapy is not all that different from massage therapy as it looks for areas of tightness, knots, and stiffness and loosens the muscle for greater flexibility. However, where massage is intended to get the blood flowing, myofascial release alters muscle tone, stimulating a response in the nervous system that helps "reset" the muscles.

This means the program uses oil-free myofascial release to grip tissue, rotation is slow, and direction is determined by the direction of muscle fibers, not blood flow. More familiar massage, such as deep tissue massage or sports massage, will also have neuromuscular effects, but the effects of myofascial work take longer.


The general process involves applying manual pressure in one direction to restore balance, with more pressure applied to create difficult knots. If the patient has long-lasting problems with stiffness and pain, this can happen in one session or more often in multiple sessions.

Most patients complain of pain in one part of the body, but the massage therapist can focus on other areas during treatment. This is completely normal. Because the body is interconnected, myofascial release targets a wider network of muscles that may be causing your pain.

By reducing tension in your body, this method is also beneficial for overall well-being and relaxation. And it's especially helpful for patients who are stressed at work and may experience pain and discomfort as part of poor posture or the body's response to high levels of cortisol that increase tension and stiffness in various parts of the body.

Most myofascial release treatments are performed during massage therapy. Some chiropractors and traditional healers may also offer it.

Your therapist will gently massage and feel myofascia in tight or tight areas. Normal myofascia must be flexible and elastic. The therapist begins by massaging and stretching the tight areas with light hand pressure. The therapist then helps the supporting tissue and capsule to release pressure and stiffness. This process is repeated several times at the same trigger point and other trigger points until the therapist feels that the tension has been completely released.

These areas where the massage therapist works may not be close to where the pain originates or where you feel the most pain. Myofascial release works on a wider network of muscles that can cause pain. This releases tension throughout the body, releasing trigger points in a wide range of muscles.

When Can A Myofascial Release Be Useful?

Myofascial pain syndrome is caused by a stimulus that creates trigger points in your muscles, leading to tension and discomfort. Factors that can increase the risk of myofascial pain syndrome include:

  • Sports Injury - Acute muscle injury or persistent muscle stress can lead to trigger points or useless movement patterns.
  • Prolonged posture or use of the body, such as continuously standing on one leg or sitting in front of a laptop for 8 hours. one day
  • Lack of strength in supporting structures, excessive loading of other tissues that experience tension and pain
  • Stress and Anxiety – People who frequently suffer from stress and anxiety are more likely to develop trigger points in their muscles, sometimes due to increased tension and poor posture.

As long as you receive myofascial release therapy from a trained professional, there are very few risks associated with this type of treatment. Many patients with chronic or even short-term back pain are also interested in the type of relief this method provides.

Myofascial Pain Syndrome

Myofascial pain syndrome is a chronic pain disorder in which pressure on tender points in muscles causes pain in the muscle and sometimes in seemingly unrelated parts of the body via fascial attachments that create tension or myofascial trigger points associated with pain.

Sometimes the pain originates from specific trigger points in the muscles and connective tissue that surround and support the entire body. The pain is usually caused by physical habits or starts with an injury that has changed the way you move and overuse certain tissues.

Want to learn more about myofascial release?

Check out these posts written by Dr. Uzair Ahmad, Doctorate of Physiotherapy and others:

Learn much more in-depth techniques and knowledge about your myofascia in the Obscure Fitness Playbook (440+ pages).

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