Myofascial Release

This may seem unusual for what most might consider an Electronics or Computer Tech Blog but this is Human Body Tech.  Let me preach on it…………..

Sometime around the year 2000 or so I was ridiculously fat and getting fatter.  I finally decided that it was time to knuckle down and do what needed to be done.  I was living in Japan and on a business trip to Pax River, Maryland and hopped on a treadmill for the first time.  I had to run in boxer shorts and dress socks but I ran a mile on the treadmill.

I’ll spare you the progression story but suffice to say I was a huge “runner” but a runner nonetheless.  And along with that hugeness came aches and pains.  I was highly motivated to run and read EVERYTHING I could get my hands on.  There is no shortage of motivational running literature out there.  And then the inevitable happened.  I got a mild injury, probably to my IT Band.  The IT Band is a thick bunch of fibers that runs along the outside of your thighs and knee.  While researching my ouch-ee I read a book called The Pain Free Runner, about Myofascial Release for the first time.

I’m no Doctor or Nurse or Physical Therapist or anything of the sort.  I was nothing but a fat, hurt runner.   But I’ll my best to explain this in layman’s terms.  When some muscle hurts in your body the actual site of the injury or “Trigger Point” is somewhere else.  The tension from the knotted muscles or tissue pull and stretch the affected muscle where you feel the pain.  Release the knotted muscle and the pain subsides.

This was a game changer for me.  100% of the time I had an IT Band issue, or knee issue or ankle issue it was resolved with Myofascial Release.

How many people do you know who have knee pain?  Or back pain?  Or who live in some kind of constant pain?  Clearly I’m not saying that this will always be the case.  Some people get INJURED for real, and some people have arthritis   But when you get old man or old lady aches and pains I’m merely suggesting to look into a Sports Massage or deep tissue massage.

Here’s my best example:  My right hand hurts.  Constantly. My fingers tingle. Constantly.   My lifetime “training” and the “opinion” of others tells me it is arthritis.  So I found a Sports Massage person locally familiar with Myofascial Release and I explained to her my symptoms and she LISTENED and went to work on my Trigger Points for the hand and finger muscles.  I would say the first time she did it I got at least a 50% improvement.  I had another session yesterday and would say there is a 70% improvement.  Over time the pain comes back HOWEVER, I believe the recurrence of pain comes from my sleep habits (I sleep with my head on my right shoulder) and combined with the fact I grip the handlebars of my bicycle too tightly when I ride which causes this to flair up.

Now imagine what would have happened if I had went to a Doctor and said “My hand hurts, and it tingles”.  What can you imagine would have happened?  Drugs?  Surgery?  Both?

But it is clear to me it is muscular and requires some life changing adjustments to me to fix.  I’m typing this at 2 AM having just woke up from shoulder pain from laying my head on my shoulder.  I do it unconsciously when I sleep.  I have to find a way to break this habit.

Last weird story.  Once I was living in Japan and had a muscle pain right across the top of my right thigh.  It was tight and burning.  I thought to myself “I’m injured and need to stop exercising for a while”.  I went to the bar that night, in pain, and as I got about half a beer down I could feel the muscles releasing and crunching all on their own.  It was nuts.  But the beer, I guess provided enough relaxation to the muscles that they released.

I am NOT saying to drink when you are hurt.   This was just observational and happened to me exactly ONCE.   And once again I’ll ask you, “What would have happened if I went to the doctor that day and said I’m hurt?  My knee hurts.  My thigh hurts”.  Drugs?  Surgery?  Both?

If you have aches and pains, do yourself a favor and Google “Trigger Points” or “Myofascial Release”.  You might thank me.

One last note.  If you have a back or IT Band issue the knotted muscle groups can be buried deep in your glutes.  That area is heavily padded. (Insert Smiley Face) and you will never feel the pain in your glutes unless you dig in via a deep tissue massage or roll around on a tennis ball on the floor.  First time I hit a knotted glute I went from the floor to the ceiling.  IT FREAKING HURT. But once that muscle released, so did my pain.

As I just said it can be quit painful to release that muscle.   But it can also be quite painful to live with chronic pain.  I shudder to think how many people are hooked on pain medicines or who have unnecessary surgery when all that is wrong is that they have massive knotted muscle groups.

Hurt like a mother for that kind lady to work on my shoulder and arms and forearms to release my hand pain but it worked.  When someone prods around trigger points and they hit a knotted muscle group YOU’LL KNOW IT.  And then stop and prod around on the other arm or leg and then you realize that it DOESN’T hurt like that, and then you’ll know there’s something to this.

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