The empirical evidence available regarding self-myofascial release practices: A scoping review

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Mott, Jessica
Author ORCID Profiles (clickable)
Master of Osteopathy
Unitec Institute of Technology
Anderson, Helen
MacFarlane, John
Masters Thesis
Ngā Upoko Tukutuku (Māori subject headings)
self-myofascial release (SMFR)
myofascial release
scoping reviews
Mott, J. (2022). The empirical evidence available regarding self-myofascial release practices: A scoping review (Unpublished document submitted in partial fulfilment of the requirements for the degree of Master of Osteopathy). Unitec Institute of Technology, New Zealand
INTRODUCTION Self-myofascial release (SMFR) is a technique which has gained popularity in recent years, and it enables the person to perform a myofascial technique that mimics self-massage on themselves without the help of a health professional (Cheatham & Stull, 2018a; Giovanelli et al., 2018; Guillot et al., 2019). However, there is no single set of agreed guidelines regarding the use of SMFR (Cheatham & Kolber, 2018). SMFR is performed through a variety of tools such as foam rollers, roller massagers, spikey balls and roller balls. The study designs used for research can vary in quality. To date there is a lack of consensus and evidence on the theory and mechanism of how SMFR works despite the popularity of this technique. The research on SMFR is considerable and difficult to relate to the general population who are likely to use tools for SMFR as most of the research is based on specific populations e.g asymptomatic participants or specific sports. This study was conducted to identify the empirical evidence available regarding self-myofascial release practices. The rationale for this scoping review arises from SMFR becoming popular amongst the public and research articles but no summaries of the research have been performed. This scoping review has considered what research is available in the SMFR literature and what research is needed. Strengths, gaps, inconsistencies and quality of the current research has also been investigated.
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