Like many roads and highways on a map, converging and connecting, in an attempt to cover the vast area of land from one end of the U.S. to the other, so too is a fiber in our bodies called Fascia. Often seen on chicken meat are the tough, white sometimes- clear fibers found when you pull raw chicken meat apart or away from the bone. Acting as a protective layer Fascia surrounds and runs thru every muscle, bone, nerve, organ, blood vessel, and cell connecting all of it together in some way.
Because of its expansiveness throughout our entire body, Fascia serves important functions including support, cushion and most importantly, provides space between vessels, bones, organs and muscles. These spaces allow fluids and nerves to pass between them.
What Does Fascia Consist of?
Fascia is made up of a 3-part complex.
1. Elastin Fibers which make up the stretchy and elastic part of the complex
2. Collagen Fibers are the tough and supportive part of the complex
3. Ground substance/matrix: A Jell-O like substance that transfers metabolic material throughout the body.
Trauma to Fascial?
When collagen fibers are healthy and unirritated they wrap around elastic fibers loosely, in a wavy pattern. The repetitive use of muscles or trauma of some kind to any part of our body can cause the Fascia to become hard and taut. This “tautness” is often felt in an area far from where the actual trauma to the muscle may have occurred. This chain like reaction is often the reason our pain in one area, is treated in another. Fascial restrictions propose challenges to finding the source of pain for individuals who suffer since the two areas may be very far apart and in seemingly unrelated locations to one another.
More Severe Effects of Fascial Restrictions
Fascial restrictions can apply an additional 2,000 pounds of pressure per square inch to any affected area of the body. In a healthy state, the collagen fibers wrap around the elastic fibers in a relaxed, wavy pattern. This pulling or tightness from Fascial restrictions pull the body out of alignment, compressing joint surfaces and bulging disks resulting in pain, loss of motion, and weakness.