Myofascial describes a symptom or treatment that relates to the connective tissue of the muscles -- the fasciae -- and the muscles themselves. Practitioners treat myofascial pain using myofascial release, physical manipulation aimed at relaxing the muscles and fasciae. Many events can cause myofascial pain, including physical strain, surgery, and inflammatory conditions that tighten the muscles. Often, people feel the pain from these knot-like constrictions at a different point in the body than the specific problem area. The release of these origins or "trigger points" can alleviate pain.
Fasciae (plural of fascia) enclose muscles and organs with a fibrous sheet. They are similar to ligaments and tendons but surround rather than join muscle tissue. Fasciae can become sensitive and tighten around the muscle, causing pain. These are the trigger points a massage therapist or other practitioner will "release" to help ease pain.
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