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The Basics of Myofascial Release

March 19 – 20, 2016, 8:00 a.m. – 5:00 p.m.

Presented by Laurie Connolly, OTR/L, CMTPT.
Owner of Aberdeen Therapy Works

About Myofascial Pain Syndrome

Chronic musculoskeletal pain is the number one cause of disability in people under 45 years of age in North America. It is one of the most complaints to primary care physicians and most common reason for work-related absences. It is estimated that up to one third of the adult population suffers from some form of chronic pain. It is responsible for 80 billion dollars a year in lost productivity.
  • It is estimated that Myofascial Pain Syndrome may be responsible for up to 85% of all chronic pain.
  • The myofascial trigger point is the characteristic and diagnostic feature of myofascial pain syndrome. (MPS) 
  • Every muscle in the body can develop trigger points and every muscle has its own unique pain referral pattern.
  • Myofascial pain can occur as a primary or a secondary condition in concurrence with other diagnosis. 
Successful treatment involves inactivating the trigger points, correcting biomechanical and postural dysfunctions, restoring normal movement patterns, and identifying and eliminating perpetuating factors.

Traditional physical therapy modalities such as exercise, E-stim, US, and heat will not alter myofascial trigger points. Even deep tissue massage to the trigger points will not change the myofascial pain syndrome without correction of biomechanical dysfunctions and elimination of underlying perpetuating factors.

Course Description

Myofascial Pain is the most likely diagnosis in most chronic and acute pain situations. Myofascial trigger points cannot be diagnosed by any imaging tests; they are diagnosed only by clinical symptoms and palpation. It requires a trained and skilled practitioner to accurately palpate and effectively treat trigger points.

This course is designed to introduce you to the concept of myofascial pain and trigger point referral patterns; instruct you in the art of muscle palpation for trigger points. You will also be introduced to the concept of Myofascial Release and specific myofascial release techniques. This is the initial course in a series that will systematically take you through evaluation and treatment of pain and dysfunction anywhere in the body. The comprehensive series of classes is designed to teach you how to effectively treat myofascial pain syndrome anywhere in the body. The classes are primarily lab classes, where you will be taught specific hands-on techniques that you can apply immediately in your setting.   

YOU WILL BE TAUGHT: Functional anatomy, referral patterns, clinical symptoms, activation and perpetuating factors and treatment techniques for each individual muscle.

Learning Objectives

By completing this course you will be able to:
  • Name the clinical characteristics of myofascial pain syndrome. 
  • Identify trigger points by referral pattern and palpation.
  • Understand underlying perpetuating factors.
  • Understand myofascial trigger points versus myofascial release techniques. 
  • Apply a variety of treatment techniques for Myofascial Pain.


Day One
8:00-8:30 Definitions
8:30-900 History
9:00-9:30 Theory
9:30-10:15 Clinical characteristics
10:15-10:30 Break 
10:30-10:45 Palpation
10:45-11:30 Demonstration 
11:30-12:00 Practice
12:00-1:00 LUNCH 
1:30-2:30 Treatment techniques
2:30-3:00 Trapezius 
3:00 -3:15 Break
3:15 – 4:00 Quadratus lumborum 
4:00 - 4:45 Gluteals
4:45-5:00 Questions
Day 2
8:00-8:15 Review
8:15-10:30 Activating and Perpetuating Factors
10:30-10:45 Break
10:45- 11:00 Posture Lecture
11:00-12:00 Postural Evaluations
12:00-1:00 Lunch
1:00-2:00 Fascia
2:00-2:45 Myofascial Release
2:45-3:00 Break
3:00-3:30 Direct techniques
3:30 -4:00 Indirect techniques
4:00-4:45 Practice 
4:45-5:00 Questions Evaluations Forms


Connolly_LaurieLaurie Connolly OTR, CMTPT is a licensed occupational therapist, who graduated from the University of Alberta in 1983. She practiced traditional Occupational Therapy from 1983 to 1998 in various settings, including home health, skilled nursing facilities and school districts. Beginning in 1998, she began studying Myofascial Release with John Barnes. After completing all fourteen courses she became the first instructor for Myofascial Release in the state of Washington in 2001. She began studying Craniosacral Therapy with the Upledger Institute in 2000 and is an advanced practitioner in this modality. In 2004-2005 she completed the 90 hour post graduate program with the Janet G. Travell Seminar Series in Bethesda, Maryland, in the treatment of Myofascial Pain Syndrome, including dry needling. Laurie is the only occupational therapist in the country to complete this training series, and was invited to join the faculty as their Occupational Therapy consultant. In 2007 she became the first Certified Myofascial Trigger Point Therapist in the state by passing the national certification examination. Laurie has completed training with Mariano Rocabado in the treatment of TMD and Advanced Craniomandibular Mechanics in 2009. She completed Postural Restoration courses with PRI in 2010 and 2011 and training with the European CRAFTA Harry von Piekartz in Craniofacial pain and Dysfunction in 2014.

Laurie teaches a series of seminars on the treatment of Myofascial Pain and Dysfunction and on the treatment of TMD to dentists and other therapists.

She is a member of the American and Washington Occupational Therapy Associations, International Myopain Society, American Academy of Pain Management and the National Association of Myofascial Trigger Point Therapists.

Laurie is the owner of Therapy Works an outpatient clinic that focuses on the treatment of chronic and acute pain using manual therapy techniques.


Providence/Swedish Employees- $200
Non-Providence/Swedish Employees- $400

Course Information

  • March 19 – 20, 2016, 8:00 a.m. – 5:00 p.m.
  • 14 Contact Hours
  • Appropriate Audience: PT, PTA, OTR, COTA
  • Providence St. Peter Hospital
    410 Lilly Rd NE
    Room 200
    Olympia, WA 98506


David Howell, OTR/L, Rehab Education Manager

Registration Instructions:

Register Online or contact David Howell at david.howell@providence.org