Why neither foam rolling, nor instrument assisted soft tissue technique should be considered Myofascial Release
In this video Dr. Spina discusses the concept behind ‘myofascial release‘ therapies (MFR) and why the currently popular ‘foam rolling,’ as well as Instrument assisted soft tissue techniques cannot be considered under this banner. MFR therapies (which includes Functional Range Release ®) act to break down abberent fibrosis that has developed in fascia/connective tissue between planes/layers. In order to do so, relative motion must be created between the adhered layers as is described…foam rolling, instrument assisted techniques…or any other technique in which the load contact glides over the skins surface cannot achieve relative
motion and thus cannot physically release aberrant fibrosis.
In the brief experiment demonstrated, we only discuss their inability to create relative motion between the fascia superficialis and fascia profunda layer (Inter-layer motion), however also note that because these techniques do not utilize motion (active or passive) they cannot impart relative tissue motion between muscular components either….even when motion is utilized in conjunction with instrument assisted techniques, the fact that the instrument glides over the skins surface means that it does not contribute any load to the moving tissues. ***Further, even if they were able to impart such load….the time needed to alter fascial composition (approx 2 min by the literature) is far greater than is afforded by these methods.THIS IS NOT TO SAY THAT THEY ARE USELESS!!!!!! I desire only to describe why they are NOT myofascial release (and in so doing I hope to eliminate what I have commonly been hearing….that if someone has an injury it can be ‘foam rolled’ away). Foam rolling may induce some touch induced analgesia for example…and instrument techniques may be useful for imparting mild tissue injury in order to stimulate healing.