Myofascial release is the manipulation of tissue to prevent it from over-contraction. Over-contraction can cause pain, tightness, and poor use of the muscle. There are small hook-like heads in the muscle filament that connect to each other to cause contraction. This is necessary for any kind of voluntary muscular contraction (it would not take place consciously in the heart, for example) but can contribute to muscles remaining in contraction long after the nerve signal has told the muscle to release.
When you feel a “tight” muscle, or a muscle bundle, this is that over-contraction taking place within the filaments of the muscle. Myofascial release can assist in releasing these muscles from their contracted state and help them to start functioning normally again. Myofascial release can be done by hand, with a lacrosse or firm foam ball, a foam roller, or a “stick” roller. If your muscles are overly tight and difficult to release, see one of our trainers for added help.