Myofascial release therapy consists of massage therapists gently massaging and stretching the Myofascial connective tissues.
This type of massage therapy can help restore motion and relieve pain. There are a variety of conditions which can result in inflammation, tightening and swelling. These include surgical procedures, inflammatory responses, and trauma. Myofascial release therapy has become a popular treatment in helping people dealing with cancer with relief from pain associated with conventional treatments.
Some doctors including oncologists are recommending this type of therapy to help relieve the pain and increase mobility. Women with breast cancer, unfortunately, often have breast reconstruction following a mastectomy or other types of surgery to remove the cancer. During breast reconstruction, cuts are made into the fascial system. This can result in limited mobility due to painful restrictions. These restrictions usually impact the upper body. Breast reconstruction can also cause scar tissue as the body works to heal itself.
During breast cancer surgery, the adhered fascial tissue can cause pain in the chest wall. It is also possible for the pain to develop on the side of the torso. This pain can last for a long time, months or possibly years. It can also come and go and may result in a decrease in a patient’s range of shoulder motion.
If the surgeon removes lymph nodes during surgery, tightness may develop in the armpit and continue down into the arm and into the wrist. This is called Axillary Web Syndrome or cording. When this condition occurs, coagulated lymphatic fluid can stick in fascially thickened or fibrotic lymphatic vessels. Surgery can cause this condition to combine with a fascial strain in the arm. Someone suffering from this condition often feels cords or webs in their arm which can limit their range of motion.
Myofascial Release Therapy Used As Part of Alternative Treatment Plan For Breast Cancer
The tissues around these vessels can be softened or elongated by Myofascial release massage. It can also increase the vessel walls’ pliability. These walls are connected by fascia. As the massage works, fluid flows more successfully into the area and the impacted areas become more comfortable and healthier.
When a patient has breast reconstruction surgery, the new breast is constructed from different body materials including gluteus maximus muscle, abdominal muscles, leg muscles and back muscles. During one popular procedure, abdominal fat and muscle are moved into the chest and new breasts are created. During this procedure, the surgeon sews the abdominal fascia down very tightly once the tissue is removed.
Another common breast reconstruction procedure is for a surgeon to remove a part of a back muscle and then place it into the chest to construct a new breast. Following this procedure, scar tissue may form and bind to the back and causing pain. Myofascial massage can help increase blood flow to this area and decrease the chances of a patient developing bursitis or tendinitis.
For cancer patients, Myofascial release therapy can be an enormous help in mitigating pain and improving mobility and range of movement in the area. Being free of pain and being able to move can also help provide emotional benefits.
At An Oasis of Healing, we do not recommend having surgery as an option for cancer treatment. Only in certain specific conditions would surgery be necessary. We treat the body as a whole and use integrative and metabolic treatments to help heal cancer naturally. Myofascial release therapy is used as part of our comprehensive cancer care program.