Soft Tissue Release – Mechanisms and the All-Important Benefits
Posted on 29th October 2020 at 10:10
It’s no surprise to us all that our everyday life takes a massive toll on our body, whether it stems from our lifestyle, work or physical exercise. All these aspects of our being are contributors to increases of physical tension throughout our human musculoskeletal system and its attachments, such as joints and tendons.
Soft tissue release is a common and effectual method which can drastically improve such tensions, as well as repair soft tissue damage, musculoskeletal fatigue and subsequent functional limitations (muscle tension). The application of soft tissue release itself works by simply manipulating the fascia, the material that wraps around the muscle, enabling it to restore itself to its normal flexibility. Sports Massage and Self Myofascial Release are common forms of soft tissue release, both of which we primarily use at Fire & Earth to aid recovery and rehabilitation, as well as improve performance preparation.
Studies1* indicate that muscle and joint range improve significantly following bouts of soft tissue release, and we concur; we see the impacts and results of this day in and day out. If you find you lack flexibility and struggle with your mobility due to your joints, soft tissue release is very likely to be very beneficial to you!
Implementing soft tissue release methods is also pivotal to staying in peak physical condition, enabling you to maximise your workouts by reducing delayed on-set muscle soreness (DOMS), the extreme tenderness you feel following intense bouts of exercise. Studies2* conclude that pain pressure threshold and perceived soreness are significantly reduced 24 hours post exercise when immediately followed by soft tissue release application.
An underpinning mechanism of soft tissue release is the initiation of the parasympathetic nervous system, via the golgi tendon organs response, causing a reduction in heart rate and an inhibition of the targeted muscles. Subsequently, soft tissue release shows significantly greater results when utilised in recovery or rehabilitation processes by inducing better circulation, reducing swelling and inflammation and promoting relaxation.
However, as mentioned, soft tissue release is not just concerned with muscle repair, it is imperative in performance preparation and injury prevention. Therefore, soft tissue release should certainly be implemented within your general maintenance routines or exercise programmes to maximise performance outputs and remain healthy.
If you wish to implement soft tissue release into your training or for any experience of acute or chronic muscle pain (no matter how big or small), then get in touch with us at Fire & Earth and we’ll do everything we can to help you out!
Macdonald, G et al (2013) An acute bout of self-myofascial release increases range of motion without a subsequent decrease in muscle activation or force, Journal of Strength and Conditioning Research, [Online] Available at: https://www.researchgate.net/profile/David_Behm/publication/224950227_An_Acute_Bout_of_Self-Myofascial_Release_Increases_Range_of_Motion_Without_a_Subsequent_Decrease_in_Muscle_Activation_or_Force/links/59dcb5b60f7e9b14600426b1/An-Acute-Bout-of-Self-Myofascial-Release-Increases-Range-of-Motion-Without-a-Subsequent-Decrease-in-Muscle-Activation-or-Force.pdf
Adboodarda, SJ et al (2015) Pain pressure threshold of a muscle tender spot increases following local and non-local rolling massage, BMC Musculoskeletal Disorders, [Online] Available at: https://bmcmusculoskeletdisord.biomedcentral.com/articles/10.1186/s12891-015-0729-5
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