by Janet Hardy, LMT, BCTMB
If you experience tightness or pain in your lower back, there are many easy self treatments that can be helpful and amazingly effective. First, it’s wise to get any doctor recommended tests such as X-rays or MRIs to diagnose what may be causing your back discomfort. If test results are negative showing no obvious reason for back pain, you may be experiencing the effects of myofascial restrictions.
Fascia is connective tissue which wraps and infuses everything in our bodies, including muscles and nerves down to the cellular level. It is largely an intricate network of tiny fluid filled fibrils. Scar tissue from injuries or surgeries and physical or emotional stress can cause this fluidity to gel or dehydrate. Myofascial restrictions occur when the fascial network becomes hardened and stiff, twisted and inflamed. These restrictions can squeeze surrounding nerves and tissue with great force, resulting in painful and restricted movement.
Are there ways to soften the gelled substance in these fibrils? The good news is: yes! In addition to receiving myofascial release therapy there are many helpful home treatments. One example is with the use of a therapy ball. These balls are effective tools that can help transform stuck fascia into healthier, more hydrated tissue. Increased fluidity revitalizes the tissue and allows for pain relief and increased freedom of movement.
An ideal therapy tool is a 3-4” inflatable ball. One example of the many ways therapy balls are used is to place it on the back to the side of the spine above the waist, just under the rib cage and lean into it against a wall. By stepping the feet approximately two feet away from the wall (depending on the size of the person) pressure is introduced into the tissue. This may produce a tender feeling. The further the feet are from the wall, the more pressure is applied. Force is not used when releasing the fascia. If steady, gentle pressure is maintained for 3-5 minutes or more, a softening or release can be felt. This process could then be repeated on the other side. Always follow doctor’s post surgical orders and check with a health care professional if you are uncertain about what type of home therapy is right for you.
Janet Hardy can analyze your posture and suggest home therapies specifically for you. Therapy balls and Myofascial Stretching books are available @ Caring Touch by appointment. Janet Hardy is a John F. Barnes Expert Level Myofascial Release Therapist in Santa Rosa Beach, FL.
For more information visit caringtouchtherapy.net or call 850-231-9131.