Do you have an upcoming surgery and want the best possible results?
Perhaps it’s a hip or knee replacement, ligament, or Achilles’ tendon repair. Maybe it’s a cancer surgery, total hysterectomy, or other major operation.
Even just a minor procedure that’ll have you in and out the same day, whatever it is, it pays to prepare, mentally and physically.
Most people already know that physical therapy is part of the recovery process after a significant surgical procedure and that the quality of that treatment can affect the surgery results.
But did you know that what you do before the procedure to prepare your body and mind is arguably more important?
No, most people don’t.
Post-surgery, most doctors recommend that you work in coordination with a professional therapist to regain flexibility and strength in the muscles and joints that may have lost power as a direct result of the surgery or downtime.
They used to treat pain after surgery with pain medication alone.
Now they increasingly combine pain medication with post-op therapy both for pain management and to expedite the healing process.
The benefits of starting therapy before surgery are being increasingly recognized by doctors.
For example, medical studies show that patients with ligament issues that undertook pre-op treatment had improved results after the surgery.
Physical therapy is great, of course. But pre-surgery myofascial release therapy helps you prep your body for surgery. It helps prevent complications and difficulties during the procedure as well as helping you recover faster, heal quicker, and prevent scar tissue after the surgery.
Myofascial release therapy is a specialized technique that is hugely beneficial both before and after surgery.
This hands-on therapy and associated therapeutic self-care help to improve functioning and mobility after surgery.
It increases your range of motion, alleviates pain, reduces congestion in tissues, eases surgical incisions, and makes the whole thing just work better.
Preparing your body with pre-surgery myofascial release therapy can powerfully influence the outcome and reduce the need for so much post-surgery care.
Therefore, it gets you “back on your feet” and back to life faster, quite possibly with better overall results too.
But why specifically is Myofascial Release Therapy so helpful BEFORE surgery?
What is Myofascial Release Therapy?
Myofascial Release Therapy is a hands-on therapy practice created initially by physical therapist John F Barnes.
We believe that we and other therapists trained in the John F Barnes method are leading the way in the future of healthcare by rejecting the blinders worn by so many who have been trained in the outdated, reductionist approach at the center of standard Western medicine and finding an approach that is better and vastly more effective.
Our practice owner, Michael Sudbury, loves to question beliefs and assumptions about how things have always been. To strive for better.
In his practice, he prefers to investigate and uncover what’s really going on underneath the hood instead of treating all his patients like textbook clones.
He knows that numerous factors can affect how patients present with what the textbooks say are identical issues.
No two people are ever indeed the same. So their symptoms and the most effective treatment for them as individuals are always different.
Myofascial Release Therapy works on the fascia, or as it’s more commonly called: connective tissue that runs throughout our bodies – wrapping, encasing, stabilizing, and protecting everything from our muscles, bones, and ligaments to our deep internal organs.
This fascia is made from a combination of collagen and elastin, and it surrounds every cell and muscle fiber in your body.
It wraps around nerves, the heart, lungs, bones, spinal column, and pretty much everything inside your body that you can think of. In a healthy state, fascia is flexible and supportive – responding appropriately and thoughtfully to your body’s daily demands.
But, when things go awry, it sticks like glue. Solid glue – that is immobile and the opposite of supportive.
These sticking points are what we call “fascial restrictions,” They’re the very things that can cause problems before, during, and after surgery.
The therapy involves a practitioner, or Myofascial Release Therapist, applying gentle and intentional pressure, with awareness, on these connective tissues.
This pressure into the tissues gradually unwinds and dissolves restrictions (sticking points), resets mobility and function, and ultimately allows your body to restore optimal health.
These restrictions or sticking points can be physical, mental, or emotional – or usually a combination of all three.
For instance, restrictions affecting your nervous system can result in depression, generalized anxiety disorder, and other debilitating mental health conditions. Conversely, hypervigilance and anxiety will cause tissues to solidify and stick, leading to an ever downward spiral of tightening and stiffening.
What Is Pre-Surgical Myofascial Release Therapy?
Pre-surgical Myofascial Release Therapy gets your body in the best physical shape for surgery – to reduce complications and difficulties during the procedure, improve the results obtained, and expedite your recovery afterward.
This specific form of Myofascial Release Therapy ensures there are no “kinks in your chain.” i.e., no restrictions in your fascial network – the network of connective tissue that protects, supports, supports and stabilizes your entire body.
In addition, this process pre-emptively improves blood and oxygen flow to prepare for your surgery and promote healing afterward.
How Myofascial Release Therapy Helps You Prepare For Surgery
One of the most well-known complications of surgery – that can create a multitude of problems further down the line – is the formation of scar tissue.
But it might surprise you to learn that scar tissue doesn’t just form because of the surgery.
Instead, it results from the restrictions you already have in your connective tissue (fascia) before you go in for surgery.
Myofascial Release Therapy relaxes and restores proper glide and fluidity to tight, glued, and rigid connective tissue – and the corresponding muscles, ligaments, and bones.
This rigidity restricts movement and pulls the body and specific bones and even our organs out of their proper alignment, affecting the entire body’s functioning.
When this connective tissue (fascial) system is taut, twisted, and dehydrated, it affects the outcome of your surgery (making your surgeon’s job more difficult).
It also delays your recovery time. So, while we can’t always avoid some scar tissue, we can significantly reduce the severity of scar formation – and future complications – using pre-surgical Myofascial Release Therapy.
In preparing your body for surgery and helping you recover faster after the surgery, Myofascial Release Therapy offers more than traditional physical therapy.
People like to describe what we do as a more holistic and ultimately more effective combination of physical therapy, energy work, massage therapy, and movement awareness training.
It’s a whole-body experience – where you benefit from the expertise of 4 different types of therapists rolled into one.
But unlike other therapists who focus on specific parts of the body in isolation, we focus on the all-important myofascial system (connective tissue) that connects EVERYTHING.
We treat you as a three-dimensional human – not a one-dimensional, black and white illustration in a textbook.
Our practice recognizes the “wholeness” of each person who walks through the clinic doors, and our therapy treats you as such.
In doing so, we incorporate movement correction and rehabilitation and everything you would hope for from traditional physical therapy into our sessions, instead of just fixing specific things affected by the surgery and moving on to the next patient.
We work with you to restore fluid mobility to and strengthen your entire body and mind and help you end up feeling even better than you did before.
The goal is always a body that works and feels great, so you can enjoy a full and active life – even after major surgery.
How To Book A Free Consultation
If you’re interested in trying our services and have surgery in your future, our skilled and passionate team is ready and waiting to help you mentally and physically prepare.
We’ll help you best prepare for your surgery as well as stand in your corner and support you every step of the way through recovery and beyond.
Would you like to find out more?
We understand it’s a big decision to go ahead and schedule treatment – especially when you haven’t yet experienced the benefits of Myofascial Release Therapy.
That’s why we offer all new patients the opportunity to schedule a free telephone consultation or in-person discovery visit.
These complimentary, 30-minute appointments allow you to chat to a trained therapist about your issues and learn more about how we can help you prepare for and recover from surgery.
We also have a range of information sources right here on the website to learn more about Myofascial Release Therapy and the Release Works team.
You can download one of our guides, sign up for our next workshop or hear more from our owner and lead Myofascial Release Therapist, Michael Sudbury.