Painful Conditions Treated with Myofascial Release (MFR)
Myofascial Release successfully treats and helps patients find resolution to complex problems that have failed to respond to conventional medications, surgery, and therapeutic treatments.
Back pain is a common medical condition characterized by discomfort, pain, or stiffness affecting the back, particularly the muscles, bones, nerves, and other structures in the spinal region. The pain can vary widely in intensity, duration, and location, and it may be acute (short-term) or chronic (long-term). Symptoms can include localized pain, stiffness, muscle spasms, and limited range of motion. Back pain can be caused by muscle strain, disc problems, spinal stenosis, osteoarthritis, scoliosis, trauma or injury, and poor posture.
Headaches are a common medical condition characterized by pain or discomfort in the head or upper neck. They can vary in intensity, duration, and frequency. Headaches may result from various causes, including tension, dehydration, lack of sleep, sinus congestion, or underlying medical conditions. The pain can be dull or throbbing and may be accompanied by other symptoms such as sensitivity to light or sound, nausea, or visual disturbances. Headaches can be primary, where they are the main condition, or secondary, arising from another underlying issue.
Whiplash is a type of neck injury that commonly occurs when the head is suddenly and forcefully jerked backward and then forward. This rapid back-and-forth motion can strain or damage the soft tissues in the neck, including muscles, ligaments, and tendons. Whiplash is often associated with motor vehicle accidents, particularly rear-end collisions, but it can also result from sports injuries, falls, or other sudden impacts. Common symptoms of whiplash include neck pain, stiffness, headaches, and difficulty moving the neck. In some cases, individuals may experience additional symptoms such as dizziness, fatigue, or tingling in the arms.
Pelvic pain refers to discomfort or pain in the lower part of the abdomen, below the belly button and between the hip bones. It can originate from various organs and structures within the pelvic region, including the reproductive organs (such as the uterus, ovaries, and fallopian tubes in females), the bladder, the intestines, and the muscles and connective tissues in the pelvic floor. Pelvic pain can be acute or chronic and may be caused by a variety of factors, including menstrual cramps, urinary tract infections, gastrointestinal issues, reproductive system disorders, muscle or ligament strain, and more. It can affect individuals of any gender and age.
Neck pain is a sensation of discomfort, stiffness, or pain localized in the area of the neck, which extends from the base of the skull to the top of the shoulders. It can result from various causes, including muscle strain, ligament sprains, poor posture, osteoarthritis, nerve compression, and injuries such as whiplash. Additionally, stress, tension, and underlying medical conditions can contribute to neck pain. The pain may be sharp or dull, and it can be accompanied by other symptoms such as headaches, shoulder pain, or limited range of motion.
Sports injuries refer to injuries that occur during sports or exercise activities. These injuries can affect various parts of the body, including muscles, bones, ligaments, tendons, and joints. Sports injuries can result from accidents, improper training techniques, lack of conditioning, inadequate warm-up, or overuse of certain body parts. Common types of sports injuries include sprains, strains, fractures, dislocations, and overuse injuries such as tendinitis and stress fractures. The severity of sports injuries can range from minor strains to more serious conditions requiring medical intervention.
Chronic pain is persistent and long-lasting discomfort or pain that extends beyond the expected period of healing for an injury or illness, typically persisting for three to six months or longer. Unlike acute pain, which serves as a warning signal for an immediate threat or injury, chronic pain may linger for an extended period and can impact one’s quality of life. Chronic pain can result from various causes, including injuries, medical conditions (such as arthritis or fibromyalgia), nerve damage, or as a consequence of surgery.
Disc problems typically refer to issues affecting the intervertebral discs in the spine. The spine is composed of vertebrae separated by these discs, which act as cushions or shock absorbers between the bones. Disc problems can cause localized pain, as well as pain radiating to other areas, depending on the location and severity of the issue. Common disc problems include herniated disc (slipped disc or bulging disc), degenerative disc disease, disc extrusion, disc protrusion, and disc desiccation.
A migraine is a type of headache disorder characterized by recurrent, throbbing headaches that typically affect one side of the head. Migraines often come with additional symptoms such as nausea, vomiting, sensitivity to light (photophobia), and sound (phonophobia). The pain and accompanying symptoms can be severe and disabling, lasting anywhere from a few hours to several days. There are two main types of migraines: those with and without auras. An aura is a specific warning sign before the onset of the headache that can include visual disturbances and other neurological symptoms.
Pelvic floor dysfunction refers to a condition in which the muscles, ligaments, and connective tissues in the pelvic floor do not function properly. The pelvic floor is a group of muscles that supports the organs in the pelvic region, including the bladder, uterus (in females), and rectum. These muscles also play a crucial role in controlling bowel and bladder movements. Several factors can contribute to pelvic floor dysfunction, including childbirth, trauma, surgery, chronic constipation, obesity, and aging. Pelvic floor dysfunction can manifest in various ways and may include pelvic pain, pelvic organ prolapse, urinary or fecal incontinence, painful intercourse, constipation or difficulty emptying the bowels, and muscle spasms.
Neurological dysfunction refers to a disruption or impairment in the normal functioning of the nervous system, which includes the brain, spinal cord, and peripheral nerves. This dysfunction can manifest in various ways and may affect sensory, motor, cognitive, or autonomic functions. Neurological dysfunction can result from a wide range of causes, including injuries, infections, genetic factors, degenerative diseases, autoimmune disorders, and vascular problems.
Fibromyalgia is a chronic disorder characterized by widespread musculoskeletal pain, tenderness, and fatigue. Individuals with fibromyalgia often experience pain in specific areas of the body, known as tender points, which are particularly sensitive to pressure. These tender points are commonly found around joints, but they can occur in various locations. In addition to pain and tenderness, fibromyalgia is associated with a range of other symptoms, including fatigue, sleep disturbances, and cognitive issues. The exact cause of fibromyalgia is not well understood, but it is believed to involve a combination of genetic, environmental, and psychological factors. Trauma, infections, or certain illnesses may trigger or exacerbate symptoms.
Adhesions are fibrous bands of scar tissue that form between tissues and organs, often as a result of injury, inflammation, or surgery. These bands can cause tissues that are normally separate to become attached to each other. Adhesions can form in various parts of the body, including the abdominal cavity, pelvic area, and around joints.
Carpal Tunnel Syndrome (CTS) is a condition characterized by the compression or irritation of the median nerve as it passes through the carpal tunnel. This compression can result in various symptoms, including numbness or tingling, pain or discomfort in the wrist or hand, and weakness in the hand. Carpal Tunnel Syndrome is often associated with repetitive hand movements, prolonged periods of wrist flexion or extension, certain medical conditions (such as diabetes or rheumatoid arthritis), or pregnancy.
Temporomandibular Joint Disorders encompass a range of conditions that affect the temporomandibular joint that connects the jaw to the skull and the muscles involved in jaw movement. The exact cause of TMJ disorders is often multifactorial and may include factors such as jaw injury, arthritis, teeth grinding (bruxism), or an abnormal bite. Stress and anxiety can also contribute to the development or exacerbation of TMJ symptoms. Symptoms may include: jaw pain, clicking or popping of the joint, locking of the jaw, muscle tenderness, headaches, earache or tinnitus.
Painful scars refers to scars on the skin that cause discomfort or pain. Scars are a natural part of the body’s healing process after an injury, surgery, or skin condition. While many scars are painless and fade over time, some individuals may experience pain or discomfort associated with their scars. Several factors can contribute to painful scars such as keloid or hypertrophic scars, nerve damage, contracture scars, infections or complications, and persistent inflammation.
Scoliosis is a medical condition characterized by an abnormal sideways curvature of the spine. In individuals with scoliosis, the spine may take on an “S” or “C” shape instead of the normal straight alignment. The curvature can occur in any part of the spine, including the cervical (neck), thoracic (upper back), and lumbar (lower back) regions. The degree of spinal curvature, the age of onset, and other factors determine the severity of scoliosis. Mild cases may not cause noticeable symptoms, while more severe curvature can lead to issues such as back pain, uneven shoulder or hip levels, and respiratory problems.
While it is more commonly associated with adults, infants and children can also benefit from MFR therapy for various reasons including birth trauma, muscle and joint issues, colic and digestive issues, developmental delays, postural issues, injury, and recovery from surgery. It’s important to note that MFR therapy for infants and children involves specialized and gentle techniques, as their bodies are still developing. Trained pediatric therapists can adapt MFR techniques to suit the unique needs of young patients, promoting comfort and safety. Before seeking MFR therapy for a child, it is essential to consult with healthcare professionals, such as pediatricians or pediatric physical therapists, to ensure that it is an appropriate and beneficial intervention for the child’s specific condition or concerns.
Sciatica refers to pain that radiates along the sciatic nerve, which is the longest nerve in the human body. The sciatic nerve runs from the lower back, through the buttocks, and down each leg. Sciatica typically occurs when the sciatic nerve is compressed or irritated, leading to pain, numbness, tingling, or weakness along its pathway. The pain can range from mild to severe and may affect one side of the body. Sciatica is often caused by conditions such as herniated discs, spinal stenosis, or bone spurs that put pressure on the sciatic nerve.
Myofascial Pain Syndrome (MPS) is a chronic pain disorder characterized by the presence of trigger points—sensitive areas of tight muscle fibers or knots that can cause localized or referred pain. These trigger points are thought to result from muscle overuse, trauma, or stress, leading to the development of tight bands of muscle fibers. Common areas where trigger points may develop include the neck, shoulders, upper and lower back, and the pelvic region. Key features of Myofascial Pain Syndrome include trigger points, referred pain, muscle stiffness and tenderness, and chronic pain.
Vulvodynia is a chronic pain condition characterized by persistent, unexplained pain in the vulva—the external genital area of a woman. This pain is often described as burning, stinging, irritation, or rawness, and it can occur spontaneously or be triggered by activities such as sexual intercourse or prolonged sitting. The exact cause of vulvodynia is not well understood, and it is believed to involve complex interactions between genetic, hormonal, neurological, and psychological factors. Factors such as nerve irritation, muscle abnormalities, and hormonal changes may contribute to the development of vulvodynia.
Interstitial cystitis (IC), also known as painful bladder syndrome (PBS), is a chronic condition characterized by pain and discomfort in the bladder and surrounding pelvic region. It is considered a type of bladder pain syndrome. Interstitial cystitis can significantly impact a person’s quality of life and may be associated with urinary urgency, frequency, and pelvic pain. The exact cause of interstitial cystitis is not well understood, and it is likely to involve a combination of factors, including abnormalities in the protective lining of the bladder, inflammation, and dysfunction of the pelvic nerves.
Mastectomy pain refers to the pain that can occur after a mastectomy, which is the surgical removal of one or both breasts, often performed as a treatment for breast cancer or as a preventive measure in individuals at high risk of developing breast cancer. Post-mastectomy pain can manifest in various ways and may include acute surgical pain, chronic pain, phantom breast pain, scar tissue pain, and nerve pain.
Menstrual problems refer to a range of irregularities, discomforts, or abnormalities in the menstrual cycle, which is the monthly series of changes a woman’s body goes through in preparation for the possibility of pregnancy. Menstrual problems can affect various aspects of the menstrual cycle, including its regularity, duration, and the intensity of associated symptoms.
Painful intercourse, medically known as dyspareunia, refers to persistent pain or discomfort during sexual activity. This condition may occur before, during, or after sexual intercourse. Painful intercourse can have various causes, and it’s important to identify and address the underlying factors.
Urinary frequency refers to the need to urinate more often than what is considered typical for an individual. It is a common symptom that can be caused by various factors, ranging from temporary issues such as increased fluid intake to more serious underlying medical conditions. The frequency of urination can vary from person to person, and what may be considered normal can depend on factors such as age, overall health, and individual habits.
Problematic breast implant or reduction scars refer to the presence of undesirable or troublesome scarring that can occur after breast augmentation with implants or breast reduction surgery. Scarring is a natural part of the healing process after surgery, but in some cases, the scars may exhibit characteristics that cause concern, dissatisfaction, or even pain.
Coccydynia refers to pain in the coccyx, which is the small, triangular bone at the base of the spine, commonly known as the tailbone. The pain associated with coccydynia is typically localized and may range from mild to severe. This condition can be caused by various factors, and the pain may be aggravated by sitting, standing up from a seated position, or activities that put pressure on the coccyx.
Endometriosis is a medical condition in which tissue similar to the lining of the uterus, called endometrium, grows outside the uterus. This tissue can be found on various pelvic organs, such as the ovaries, fallopian tubes, and the tissue lining the pelvis. In some rare cases, endometrial tissue may even spread beyond the pelvic region. The exact cause of endometriosis is not fully understood. Key features of endometriosis include, pain, menstrual irregularities, infertility, painful intercourse, gastrointestinal symptoms, and bladder symptoms.
Infertility is defined as the inability to conceive or achieve a successful pregnancy after a year or more of regular, unprotected sexual intercourse. It is a reproductive health condition that can affect individuals or couples, and it may be caused by various factors in both men and women.
Urinary incontinence refers to the involuntary loss of urine, leading to the unintentional leakage of urine from the bladder. It is a common and often embarrassing condition that can range from occasional mild leakage to a complete inability to control urinary function. Urinary incontinence can affect people of all ages, but it is more common in older adults, particularly women. Causes of urinary incontinence can vary and may include factors such as age, childbirth, hormonal changes, obesity, neurological conditions, and certain medications.
Lymphedema is a chronic condition characterized by the accumulation of lymphatic fluid, leading to swelling, typically in the arms or legs. This condition occurs when the lymphatic system, which is responsible for draining excess fluid from tissues and supporting the immune system, is compromised. Lymphedema can result from a congenital condition (primary lymphedema) or secondary to damage or disruption of the lymphatic system (secondary lymphedema).
Urinary urgency refers to a strong and compelling urge to urinate that is difficult to delay or control. Individuals experiencing urinary urgency may feel an intense and sudden need to empty their bladder, often with the sensation that they must rush to the restroom. This urgency can be associated with conditions such as overactive bladder (OAB), urinary tract infections (UTIs), or other bladder-related issues.
An episiotomy scar refers to the scar that forms after an episiotomy procedure, which is a surgical incision made in the perineum—the area between the vagina and the anus—during childbirth. While episiotomy scars are a common outcome of childbirth, their appearance and impact on a woman’s well-being can vary. In some cases, women may experience no significant issues related to the scar, while others may have concerns about its appearance or discomfort during certain activities.
Pelvic floor pain refers to discomfort or pain in the muscles, ligaments, and connective tissues that make up the pelvic floor. The pelvic floor is a group of muscles located at the base of the pelvis, supporting the pelvic organs, including the bladder, uterus (in females), and rectum. Pelvic floor pain can manifest in both men and women and may result from various causes.
Pudendal nerve entrapment (PNE) refers to a condition in which the pudendal nerve, a major nerve in the pelvic region, becomes compressed or irritated, leading to pain and other symptoms. The pudendal nerve plays a crucial role in providing sensation to the genital and perineal areas, as well as controlling certain pelvic muscles, including those involved in bowel and bladder function. Causes of pudendal nerve entrapment may include trauma, inflammation, or compression of the nerve due to factors such as prolonged sitting on hard surfaces, repetitive activities that put pressure on the pelvic region, scar tissue formation, pelvic surgery, and childbirth trauma.
Find an MFR Therapist
With NO sign up required, search our international network of John Barnes trained, highly skilled MFR practitioners. You’ll find a therapist near you who understands your pain and knows exactly how to help. Find the relief you’ve been looking for!
This site was developed by Dr. Mark Barnes to help people find the best MFR therapist for their unique needs. We provide an easy way to search for MFR trained therapists, free of cost, and without the frustration of popups and advertisements.
This site lists only therapists trained on the John F. Barnes technique, giving you, the patient, assurance that you are being treated by the best set of therapists who continually maintain their education in Myofascial Release.