The Fascial System Explained
While surfing the internet one day I came across Anatomy in Motion a website for doctors, med students, chiropractors, massage therapists, and physical trainers that offers study guides for the human body. So I followed them on FaceBook, you should too if you like to learn new things about the human body. Just a few weeks ago I came across this post on my newsfeed about Fascia!!! (The Fascial System has been my passion since 2009 hence my excitement) Here’s the informative post about our amazing Fascial System. Please watch the video below as well, which also displays the important functions of the fascial system.
What is Fascia?
Fascia is tough connective tissue that creates a 3-dimensional web extending without interruption from head to toe. Fascia surrounds and infuses every muscle, bone, nerve, blood vessel, and organ, all the way down to the cellular level.
The fascial system affects every system and function in your body- musculoskeletal, neurological, metabolic, etc. The white, glistening fibers you see when you pull a piece of meat apart or when you pull chicken skin away is fascia.
What is Fascia made of ?
Fascia consists of a complex which has three parts:
1. Elastin fibers – This is the elastic and stretchable part of the complex.
2. Collagen fibers – These fibers are extremely tough and give support to the
3. Ground substance/matrix: A gelatinous like substance that transports metabolic
material throughout the body
What does fascia do?
The fascial system generally supports, stabilizes, and cushions. Fascia creates separation between vessels, organs, bones, and muscles. It creates space through which delicate nerves, blood vessels, and fluids can pass.
What are Fascial Restrictions?
In a healthy state, the collagen fibers wrap around the elastic fibers in a relaxed, wavy configuration. Trauma, repetitive motion, inflammation, or poor posture can cause the fascia to become solidified and shortened. These thickened areas are referred to as a fascial restriction. Fascial restrictions have the capacity of creating up to 2,000 pounds of pressure per square inch in a restricted area. That crushing pressure can compromise any physiological system in the body resulting in pain and dysfunction.
The fascia throughout the body is all interconnected like the yarn in a sweater or a complex spider web. A restriction in one area of the body creates tension throughout this web pulling on other distant structures. This explains why some people may have pain that appears unrelated to their original injury. Furthermore, myofascial restrictions do not show up on common standardized tests such as x-rays, MRI, CAT scans, etc.
Fascial restrictions can pull the body out of its normal alignment, compressing joint surfaces and bulging disks, resulting in pain, loss of motion, and weakness.
Info collected from Spine – Health, Mayo Clinic, NIH & Medterms
Art by Dan Beckemeyer