Active Release Therapy vs Myofascial Therapy: What’s the Difference

Chronic or nagging injuries can often be some of the most difficult to deal with, both from a treatment perspective and from the perspective of the patient.

But thankfully there are two treatment methods that have proven to be very effective for dealing with soft tissue injuries. Myofascial therapy and Active Release Therapy are two popular treatments for ailments originating from fascial issues and other soft tissue abnormalities.

Below we’ll look at the difference between these two therapies so you can decide which one is right for you.

Myofascial Therapy: A Brief History

Myofascial therapy is a relatively new therapeutic approach for addressing soft tissue injuries and pain. As the name suggests, it focuses on the fascia, which is a tough, elastic type of webbing that surrounds muscles in the body.

Research showed that the muscular fascia can develop problems due to repetitive injury or improper form during certain activities. By addressing these problems with external manipulation, the fascia can return to its optimal state, and the pain or injury can begin to heal and subside.

How Is Active Release Therapy Different From Myofascial Release?

Active Release Therapy is a technique that has built on the decades of knowledge and real-world data gained since the introduction of myofascial therapy.

By studying the benefits as well as the limitations of myofascial therapy, Active Release Therapy set out to deal with a wider range of injuries and issues.

To do this, Active Release Therapy focuses on more than just the fascia and instead was developed to deal with other soft tissue structures as well. These include:

  • Muscles
  • Tendons
  • Ligaments
  • Surrounding joint structure

So by addressing these other structures within the body that are all related to the fascia, Active Release Therapy builds upon the benefits of myofascial therapy by allowing for a much wider range of treatment options for an even greater number of injuries.

Is Active Release Therapy Better Than Myofascial Release?

While both therapies can offer relief and benefits for certain injuries and issues, Active Release Therapy does offer many more options than simple myofascial release.

Because of this, it is often preferred as a starting point for complex issues that may involve several structures within the body.

Specialists who use Active Release Therapy also undergo more formal training to get the most benefits from Active Release Therapy, so these practitioners can be more skilled than those who simply use myofascial therapy.

Where Can I Find An Active Release Therapy Practitioner?

If you’ve decided to try Active Release Therapy to deal with a current injury you have, there are some things to keep in mind.

Active Release Therapy requires specialized training and experience, so you’ll want to find a practitioner with the right credentials. Since Active Release Therapy involves working on more structures within the body, the training required exceeds that of regular myofascial release.

So always choose a professional who is both trained in Active Release Therapy and has the experience to put that training to work when it comes to treating your specific injury.

Elite Performance Chiropractic has doctors trained in Active Release Therapy. Their services have helped countless athletes and individuals achieve peak performance and freedom from pain.