Myofascial release is the application of activating forces of appropriate tension to soft tissues to affect change in the form of release of tightness of that structure. As applied in physical therapy, it is region specific, versus massage, which employs whole body relaxation techniques.
The treatment process involves assessment of tension or tender points in the muscle, fascia, ligaments, or tendons and manual pressure by the therapist to the barrier of tension, until a release is felt by both patient and therapist. This entails sensitivity of a skilled therapist to palpate and determine significant areas that relate to the patient’s dysfunction. The result is a decrease in pain or tension of that region, increasing range of motion and overall function.