FASCIA

Fascia is a continuous three dimensional web of tough connective tissue that runs from head to foot without interruption. Fascia surrounds and infuses every part of the body including the bones, muscles, vessels, spinal cord, and internal organs – all the way down to the individual cells. Therefore, the fascial system can act on every system and function in the body.


Fascia is made up of elastin and collagen proteins suspended in a gel-like substance known as the ground substance. Fascia is one of the major kinds of supportive connective tissues in the body. It supports and stabilize the body enhancing its postural balance and ability to retain its normal shape, keeping vital organs in their correct positions. It is thought that if every structure was removed from the body except for the fascia, the body would maintain its shape. Fascia, along with ligaments and tendons, act to keep us structurally sound and help us engage in motion by transferring energy between muscles and bones. Additionally, fascia acts as a lubricant due to the composition of the ground substance. Fascia is found between the muscle fibers, within a muscle, and surrounding the whole muscle. This arrangement helps ensure that muscles can fully contract while preventing damage from friction. The ground substance is also designed to absorb shock or compressive forces and distribute them throughout the body.


At the cellular level, fascia functions for support, protection, separation, cellular respiration, elimination, metabolism, and fluid and lymphatic flow. It can have a major influence on cellular health and the immune system. As a result, trauma or malfunction of the fascia can set up the environment for poor cellular efficiency, necrosis, disease, pain, and dysfunction throughout the whole body.


Fascia is also considered to be an instrumental sensory organ. It is spread throughout the body and contains a high number of mechanoreceptors which detect stimuli from outside the body, such as touch, pressure, stretching, sound waves, and motion. Fascia plays a big role in proprioception, or the sense of self-movement and body position in space. It is also important for interoception or the perception of sensations from inside the body. These sensations include the perception of physical sensations related to internal organ function such as heart beat, respiration, and feelings of being full, as well as the autonomic nervous system activity related to emotions and the unconscious regulation the activity of your internal organs.

FASCIAL RESTRICTIONS

Fascial Restrictions are areas in the body where the fascial tissue has become shortened and the ground substance has solidified. Overtime restrictions left untreated may result in pain, dysfunction, and loss of joint range of motion.


Fascial restrictions are often caused by physical or emotional trauma, chronic poor posture, inflammation, surgery, or bracing against pain and stress.


Fascial tissue restrictions can produce pressure of nearly 2000 pounds per sq. inch on pain sensitive nerves, muscles, blood vessels, bones and/or organs. Because fascial restrictions do not show up with standard imaging/ tests (x-rays, CAT scans, MRI, etc.) they often cause pain but go undiagnosed. It is estimated a high percentage of people suffering with pain or decreased joint range of motion have fascial restrictions.


At the time of trauma when fascial restrictions are present, the ground substance, which is designed to absorb shock or compressive forces and distribute them throughout the body, is not able to function correctly due to solidification and injury results. This helps explain sports performance/ repetitive motion injuries and the cumulative effects of micro traumas. An athlete with fascial restrictions will not efficiently absorb the shocks of continued activity. The body will then absorb too much pressure in too small of an area and as a result will continually ‘break down’. This same effect takes place over time with micro traumas. If, for example, there is a imbalance in the pelvis, each step will send imbalanced forces throughout the body. The body then must compensate through muscular spasm, fascial restrictions, and eventually produce symptoms of dysfunction.