Discover a different way to treat chronic pain, through a myofascial release. What’s that all about? Discover how it works and what separates it from traditional treatments.
Carl Patrnchak, PT, CO, is an expert in the field of myofascial release. He is the owner of Myofascial Physical Therapy, 421 S. Mulford Road, Rockford, and sees patients with all kinds of pain, in every age bracket. Myofascial release is a whole-body approach in which flexibility can be restored to affect the whole body outward along the fascia. It is a hands-on technique that applies very gentle, sustained pressure into the restricted fascial tissue. Over time, fascial grows softer and more pliable, restoring alignment and mobility.
“I use analytical digital photography to draw a plumb line of each patient’s body,” Patrnchak explains. “Often the problem jumps right out at me.”
Patrnchak compares the human body to a tent. The support poles are the human skeleton and the canvas is the muscular structure.
“I work on the guidewires, those lines that hold the entire structure in its ideal place,” he explains. “These guidelines can support up to 1,000 pounds per square inch in stress, which can cause pain in areas not even close to the trigger point.”
Once the perpetual cause of the pain is treated with a custom-designed program of stretch exercises, the pain is eased and gradually goes away.
“The first step is to balance the patient’s pelvis,” he says. “This can actually be accomplished in just one session, depending on how long the pain has persisted. It can vary widely but some patients go home pain-free.”
Multiple surgeries, trauma or other therapies may make it necessary to begin a program of treatment that usually requires sessions twice a week, reduced to once weekly for up to a month as the patient heals.
“We used to try to wean patients off sessions more quickly but we found that they are nervous that the pain will return if we shorten the treatment program,” Patrnchak says.
And, he says, patients need to practice due diligence.
“Patients cannot come in and expect the myofascial pain to be fixed just in our offices,” Patrnchak says. “We provide them with a home program of gentle stretching exercises to be done daily, holding each stretch position for five minutes.” These exercises lengthen the tissues in the body’s infrastructure and gradually heal the trigger points, ending pain.