Saturday, December 5, 2009

Self Myofascial Release

What is Self Myofascial Release

Definition of Self Myofascial Release (SMR)
Neurologically release adhesions, tender spots or “knots”

1. Contractile fibers can be inhibited from releasing to normal resting length
2. This can be due to injury, muscle imbalances, muscles being overworked
3. Tension helps golgi tendon organ stimulate muscle spindles to relax

Protocol for SMR
Using Styrofoam roller, stick, or tennis balls; find knots and hold position as close to tension area as possible

1. Breathe; hold position for 30-45 seconds or until tension dissipates
2. Repetition of SMR makes it easier to bear and reduces tender spots in general
3. Potential contraindications
a. Large bruises, phlebitis, varicose veins, open wounds, undiagnosed lumps, and skin infections, circulation issues

Benefits of SMR
Perfect for clients who feel tension but whose muscles do not need stretching/lengthening
Releasing knots can facilitate blood flow and circulation
Releasing knots can facilitate proper firing patterns

SMR for Cycling
Potential tender spots/adhesions

1. Lower extremity
a. Lateral chain: calf; peroneals; bicep femoris; IT band; piriformis
b. TFL; anterior hip/quads

2. Upper extremity
a. Lats; teres major; upper middle back; pecs/anterior delts

Program Design

Sequencing release/stretching/strengthening

1. Lower extremity
a. SMR lateral chain
b. Stretch lateral muscles/external rotators
c. Strengthen medial muscles/core
- lateral lunges
- core with adductors
d. Check gluteus medius integrity

2. Upper extremity

a. SMR upper middle back
b. Stretch anterior muscles
c. Mobility/strengthening exercises for upper middle back

Suggested Reading
1. Alter, Michael J. Science of Flexibility. Human Kinetics, 1996.
2. Biel, Andrew. Trail Guide to the Body. Harcourt Brace & Co., 1943.
3. Forem, Jack. Healing with Pressure Point Therapy. Penguin Putnam Inc., 1999.
4. Myers, Thomas, W. Anatomy Trains: Myofascial Meridians for Manual and Movement Therapists. Churchill Livingstone, 2001.

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