Diacutaneous Fibrolysis

What is diacutaneous fibrolysis?

Diacutaneous fibrolysis is a form of manual therapy performed by a physical therapist. The treatment originated in the 1950s in Sweden and is characterized by the use of a stainless steel hook to release tension between muscle layers.

Who can benefit from it?

Diacutaneous fibrolysis is designed to treat mechanical pain in the musculoskeletal system, particularly in the soft tissues. It is used in the treatment of a wide variety of conditions that cause musculoskeletal pain, including:

  • Tendonitis
  • Plantar fasciitis
  • Neuralgia
  • Scar tissue
  • Sciatica
  • Carpal tunnel syndrome
  • Tennis elbow
  • Muscle contractures

However, it is important to note that there are no randomized clinical trials evaluating the effectiveness of diacutaneous fibrolysis in the above conditions. It is classified as an alternative treatment in the UK and is not widely practiced.

Carpal tunnel syndrome is one of the pathologies that improve with diacutaneous fibrolysis.

What does it consist of?

The treatment is similar to other forms of manual therapy. You will lie down on a flat, comfortable surface and the physiotherapist will assess which area is most suitable for treatment.

A special stainless steel hook is used to penetrate between the muscle layers and target adhesions (scar tissue that prevents movement) and fibrosis (a build-up of collagen). The theory behind the treatment is that the destruction of these tissues can free the muscle tissues, restoring mobility and improving pain.

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Alternatives to this treatment

Diacutaneous fibrolysis is a low-risk treatment in most cases and can usually be combined with existing medical treatment for your condition.

However, manual therapy is generally not recommended for people with:

  • Bone fractures
  • Weak bones (due to a condition such as osteoporosis)
  • Deep vein problems such as DVT
  • A heart condition that involves taking anticoagulant medications
  • Burns or wounds

Finally, because there is insufficient evidence that diacutaneous fibrolysis is directly effective in the treatment of musculoskeletal or inflammatory conditions such as arthritis, it is important to continue with the clinical management recommended by your physician.