Have you ever heard someone say they have a “muscle knot”?
Spoiler alert: muscles don’t get “knotted.”
However, muscles are surrounded and penetrated by connective tissue, and that can get tense, brittle, and inflamed. When the connective tissue is unhealthy, it becomes “tight” and can compress the muscles and cause adhesions or “trigger points”.
Think of your muscles like the pillow and connective tissue like the pillow case. If the pillow case is tight and stiff, the pillow within it will get “squished” or compressed.
Tight connective tissue - or myofascial tissue - can not only cause tension and discomfort, but it can also inhibit muscle growth, definition, and activation. Additionally, the fascial system also encases blood vessels and nerves. When the myofascial tissue is clamping down on the muscles, nerves, and blood vessels, it impedes their ability to function properly.
The good news?
You can use the KOA Massage Tools to loosen, relax, and release myofascial adhesions and tension.
In this article, we’ll explain how to do this easily in the comfort of your own home. But first, let’s unpack what the myofascial system is, how it affects every aspect of muscle performance and recovery, and what you can do to help your body feel and function at its best.
What is the Myofascial System?
The Myofascial System is comprised of muscle tissue and collagenous connective tissue - which includes the fascia, ligaments, and tendons. The Myofascial System interacts with every other system and function of your body, especially your organs, bones, blood vessels, nerves, brain, nervous system, lymphatic system, and immune system.
Myo = muscleFascial = fascia
What is Fascia?
Fascia is a type of connective tissue made of 3-dimensional layers of collagen fibers that are encased in a film-like fluid. It provides lubrication, support, and hydration for the surrounding tissues, organs, and structures.
Fascia is best known for providing internal support and structure by connecting and attaching muscles and joints and holding our internal organs in place. It helps your body’s tissues and organs glide smoothly against each other, as well as stretch, contract, and relax. It’s designed to hold things in place, as well as to stretch and support you as you move.
Fascia also provides a sheath of protection around every blood vessel and nerve. It assists the circulatory system in providing nutrients, oxygen, and hydration to every area of the body, while also carrying out waste. It even has its own sensory receptors - making it almost as sensitive as skin! It transports nerves and acts as a communication system between the skin, muscles, and brain.
How Does the Myofascial System Affect Muscle Performance & Recovery?
When we’re stressed, injured, or unhealthy, fascia tightens up in an effort to protect us. If the tension isn’t addressed, the fascia can become brittle and dehydrated, compress your muscles, joints, blood vessels, and nerves, and cause muscle tension and discomfort.
Healthy fascia transports nutrients to the muscles and organs, allowing them to perform at their best. It also provides a flexible sheath that can stretch, contract, relax, and has its own elasticity that optimizes your athletic abilities, speed, and range of motion.
Healthy fascia = healthy, defined, flexible, pain-free muscles
Unhealthy fascia = unhealthy, inflamed, rigid, sore muscles
What is Myofascial Dysfunction?
Chronic muscle pain associated with inflammation or irritation of the muscles and/or fascia.
Myofascial Pain Syndrome (MPS) is a clinical condition caused by myofascial adhesions or trigger points that cause muscle tension, pain, and dysfunction. This syndrome is common after repeated injuries, overuse, or muscle stress.
For example, if you’re a runner, the repeated impact on your knees and ankles may cause the surrounding tissues to inflame and contract in an effort to support and stabilize your joints. This may cause the muscles and fascia in your quads, IT bands, hamstrings, calves, shins, and feet to tense and brace for impact.
If you don’t make the effort to stretch, hydrate, and relax your myofascial tissues (muscles, fascia, tendons, and ligaments), they will stay tense and become brittle. That means, your range of motion will be limited, you won’t have full muscle access or activation, your blood flow, lymphatic flow, and nerve activity will be impeded, and your joints and soft tissues will be inflamed and sore.
It goes without saying, this domino effect will negatively affect your athletic performance and recovery. Here’s a great visual.
What is Myofascial Release Treatment?
When myofascial tissue is tense and “angry” it causes pain and dysfunction. Myofascial Release involves techniques that relax, loosen, and restore the tissue by applying sustained pressure to decompress and create space in the tissues.
Myofascial Release Treatments help reduce tension, pain, and inflammation while improving blood flow, lymphatic drainage, nerve function, and immune health. This has a cascade of positive effects that helps improve everything from your muscle pump, strength, definition, and recovery to your mental performance, mood, digestion, and metabolism.
What is the Best Myofascial Release Treatment?
A skilled Myofascial Release therapist will help you relax, identify areas of tension and dysfunction, and perform techniques to restore healthy myofascial tissue.
However, we have amazing news for those of us who can’t make it to the therapist every day, and want to get out of pain and have better muscle performance and recovery - now!
The KOA Massage Tools: Best At-Home or On-The-Go Myofascial Release Tools
If you haven’t already experienced the relaxing, rejuvenating relief of a KOA Massage, get ready to unlock an empowering, pain-free, high-performance lifestyle.
The KOA Massage Tool’s patented design releases deep myofascial adhesions by decompressing, relaxing, and restoring the myofascial tissue. Our proprietary HumanTouch 3.0™ technology mimics the hands, knuckles, fingers, and elbows of a skilled therapist and allows you to be in control of the pressure, location, and duration of your myofascial release treatment.
These easy-to-use massage tools are perfect for the bath or shower, sauna, gym, yoga studio, sports field, office, travel, on the go, or at home. Pick up a KOA Massage Tool any time for fast-acting relief, or treat yourself to a deluxe spa experience.
A Healthy Lifestyle Is Crucial to Healthy Muscles & Fascia
Myofascial health is cellular health! Quality nutrition, hydration, and daily movement are vital to keeping your body and mind happy and healthy so everything can perform at its best.
Adding the KOA Massage Tools to a healthy lifestyle helps take your fitness, flexibility, muscle performance and recovery, pain management, total body circulation, and immune health to a whole new level! You don’t have to “train through the pain” - and in fact, that’s a short-term strategy that won’t get you the lasting results you’re after. Optimize your muscle performance and recovery by optimizing your myofascial care with regular myofascial release treatments.