How To Erase Shoulder Pain With Self Myofascial Release:
Self-myofascial release (SMR) is a method of stretching muscles through manipulation of fascia. Fascia is the connective tissue that makes up most tissues in your body. It’s made from long strands called fibers and it consists mainly of two types of cells: type I and type IIa fibres.
Type I fibres are slow twitch muscle fibers which produce force at low speeds while type IIa fibres are fast twitch muscle fibers which produce force at high speeds. Fibers have different lengths so they’re able to generate different amounts of force. For example, the type I fibres that make up your hamstrings have a length of approximately 3 cm whereas those that make up your glutes have a length of approximately 1.5cm.
Fascia is composed mostly of type IIa fibres but it contains some type I fibres too. When these two types of fibre meet each other, they form a tight knot or sheath around the joint where they touch. This tightness causes pain when the muscle is stretched out.
There are several methods to reduce or eliminate this pain such as stretching, ice packs, massage and even drugs like NSAIDs (Nonsteroidal Anti-Inflammatory Drugs). Most of these methods can be very painful or cause other adverse effects.
However, a much better way to relieve this pain is through SMR. In the images above, you can see a representation of the borders of your muscles and how they effect the fascia. The first image displays the border between your rhomboids and midtrapezius muscles where tightness causes pain on the top of your shoulder blade.
The second image displays the border between your upper and lower trapezius muscles where tightness causes pain at the base of your neck.
The last image displays the borders between your latissimus dorsi, teres major and teres minor muscles in your middle and lower back where tightness causes pain in your armpit, across your ribs and even down your outer thighs.
Sources & references used in this article:
Acute effects of self-myofascial release and stretching in overhead athletes with GIRD by RR Fairall, L Cabell, RJ Boergers, F Battaglia – Journal of Bodywork and …, 2017 – Elsevier
Immediate effects of self-myofascial release on latent trigger point sensitivity: a randomized, placebo-controlled trial by J Wilke, L Vogt, W Banzer – Biology of sport, 2018 – ncbi.nlm.nih.gov
The immediate effect of bilateral self myofascial release on the plantar surface of the feet on hamstring and lumbar spine flexibility: a pilot randomised controlled trial by M Clark, A Russell – Integrated Training for the New Millennium, 2009
Mon-Sat 9a-5p by A Russell, T Wallace – NASM, Thousand Oaks, 2005
The effects of myofascial release with foam rolling on performance by R Grieve, F Goodwin, M Alfaki, AJ Bourton… – Journal of bodywork and …, 2015 – Elsevier
Preventing shoulder and rotator cuff injuries through corrective exercise programming (Part 2) by SU Mail – knee, 2020 – inmotionptchi.com
Effects of myofascial release leg pull and sagittal plane isometric contract-relax techniques on passive straight-leg raise angle by KC Healey, DL Hatfield, P Blanpied… – The Journal of …, 2014 – journals.lww.com
Understanding Causes and Treatment of Myofascial Muscle Pain by DC David Cruz – blog.nasm.org