Myofascial Adhesion Release


Relieving tight muscles and trigger points can make a big difference in reducing joint stress and improving your overall quality of life. That’s why you should consider active release technique myofascial adhesion release (MAR). It can help turn on muscles that have been turned off due to injury and eliminate muscular pain.

MAR is a type of soft tissue therapy that helps relieve tight muscles and nerve trigger points, greatly reducing joint stress or muscular pains. It helps individuals overcome a number of muscle- and joint-related injuries in a fast time frame. I now recommend that anyone recovering from similar conditions considers MAR.

What Is Myofascial Adhesion Release(MAR)?

MAR has been used by chiropractic sports physicians to treat patients dealing with a wide array of chronic pains or injuries. MAR is similar to deep tissue massage techniques because it works by manipulating soft tissue, thereby reducing stress placed on joints and nerves.

The conditions that MAR is used to help treat naturally, often without the use of medications, are those that affect fascia (connective tissue), major muscle groups, tendons and ligaments. Most are the result of overused muscles, which contribute to scar tissue formation, tears, pulls, strains and inflammation. The goal is to restore normal mobility and “glide” between muscular tissue and nerves. It can also help push joint fluid throughout the body and stimulate the lymphatic system, which helps lower inflammation.

Some of the problems most commonly relieved through ART treatments include:

  • Lower back pain
  • Shin splints
  • Plantar fascittis
  • Tension headaches
  • Carpal tunnel syndrome
  • Shoulder strains, including frozen shoulder
  • Bursitis
  • Tennis elbow
  • Sciatic nerve pain/sciatica

HowMAR Works

The core benefit of MAR is preventing and breaking up dense scar tissue, also called adhesions. Adhesions limit the normal range of motion of joints and muscles because they cause abnormal binding between muscle groups, are very tough and are inflexible compared to healthy tissue.

The reason that ahesions form is to bind injured tissues and keep them stable — however, the adhesions act like a strong “glue” and can often compress or pinch nerves. Nerves sometimes become entrapped by scar tissue, which causes trigger points and pain to develop. The more that scar tissue forms, the more joints or tendons become strained and nerves become compressed.

Soft tissue manipulations address several components related to scar tissue formation:

  • acute injuries, including tears or collisions that can happen during exercise or sports
  • micro-trauma, which is the gradual wear-down of tissue that’s often caused from aging and inflammation
  • hypoxia, which results from tissue not receiving enough nutrients and oxygen

Who Benefits Most from MAR Sessions?

What are some signs that you might be experiencing adhesion/scar tissue accumulation and therefore can benefit from MAR? These include:

  • stiffness in your neck, elbow, hands, knees or back, sometimes associated with bursitis or tendonitis
  • increased pain or throbbing when exercising
  • reduced flexibility and limited range of motion
  • loss of muscle strength
  • inflamed joints or frequent joint pains
  • signs of nerve damage, such as tingling, numbness and weakness

MAR treatment is a unique protocol that consists of very precise, targeted movements, most of which are done by the patient. Each MAR session is different and custom-created to treat the patient’s problem depending on the location and severity of the symptoms. Over 500 different hand motions are used by the practitioner to evaluate a patient’s condition, locate areas of tightness that signify tissue damage, and then to help the patient move in a way that releases the affected tissue through “directed tension and very specific movements.”

Once the underlying tissue problem is addressed, patients are less likely to experience other injuries going forward and can return to regular preventative practices like exercising, stretching and performing myofascial release.