2 Easy Myofascial Release Exercises to Decrease Pain

2 Easy-to-Apply Myofascial Release Exercises for Pain Relief

Feeling tense or tight these days? Maybe it’s time to look into some self-myofascial release exercises to help you out. When done in conjunction with your chiropractic treatment and therapies, these techniques can be wonderful tools to add to your pain relief arsenal.

What is Self-Myofascial Release and What Does it Do?

Self-myofascial release is a hands-on approach to managing pain and alleviating physical discomfort. As a therapeutic technique it focuses on smoothing out the body’s connective tissue, aka fascia, to help alleviate pain that may be associated with stiff or tight areas within your musculature. 

First off, fascia is a three-dimensional web of connective tissue that wraps around, stabilizes, and supports your muscles and other internal organs. Inactivity, overuse, repetitive motion or injury can cause fascia to become bound in ways that further perpetuates tension, restriction, and circulation. Myofascial release exercises are used to target these specific areas in a way that helps. 

The following easy to apply self-myofascial release exercises address two common areas that cause discomfort, the neck (as it relates to the shoulders) and the low-back (as it relates to the hips. They are aimed to help you reduce tension or soreness, improve your joint’s range of motion, increase circulation, and help your body unwind in a way that enables relaxation. All you need is a small exercise ball or tennis ball and a little time to learn how to properly apply pressure to your muscles as a self-care routine. Let’s get started!

The Trapezius

#1 Ease Neck and Shoulder Tension with The Trapezius Release

For neck and shoulder tension

This myofascial release exercise is great for folks who find themselves frequently hunched over and carrying their head slighting forward. This type of posturing can cause an imbalance in the neck and shoulder muscles, notably the upper trapezius, which then contributes to headaches and tight shoulders. 

Follow these steps to reduce neck and shoulder tension:

  1. Start by standing against a wall, feet flat on the floor and spine straight.
  2. Take a small exercise ball or tennis ball and place it against your trapezius muscle. This is located on the spot between your upper shoulder and neck.
  3. Lightly lean against the wall, putting pressure on the muscle.
  4. Find a tight spot and hold pressure on it for 30 seconds to two minutes.
  5. To add a little extra to your release, move your head from side to side (ear to shoulder). You can also hold your arm out straight in front of you and move it from right to left.
The Piriformis Release.

 #2 Reduce Low-Back and Sciatic Pain with The Piriformis Release

For low-back and sciatic tension

This myofascial release exercise is perfect for those who sit for long periods throughout the day! A sedentary lifestyle can make the piriformis muscle (which runs from the outside of the hip to your sacrum bone) tight. When your piriformis muscles are tight they can contribute to low-back pain and cause sciatica.

Follow these steps to reduce low-back and sciatic tension:

  1. Take a seat on a chair with a firm surface, like a dining room chair. Make sure your feet are flat on the floor and your spine is straight.
  2. Holding yourself up, place your small exercise ball against the piriformis muscle. This is between the outside hip and tailbone (as though you’re half-sitting against the ball).
  3. Rest against the ball and hold pressure on the muscle for 30 seconds to two minutes.
  4. To add a little extra to your release, deepen your stretch by crossing one of your legs over the other at the knee.

Please note: It is always advisable to consult your doctor before beginning any new therapies, especially if you have a serious medical condition, physical limitations or are experiencing chronic pain.

Find a Chiropractor Near You for More Myofascial Tips

Chiropractors are trained to help the body restore proper mobility and function through safe, controlled, and specific forces applied to the joints or muscles. With expertise and guidance, a chiropractor can help you learn more ways to apply exercises or stretches so that your body becomes more in balance and able to heal. 
With clinics in the following metro areas: Chicago, Indianapolis, Milwaukee, Madison, Vancouver, and St. Louis you’ll be able to find a chiropractor near you. Make an appointment to start your wellness plan today. Your body will thank you.