3 Reasons You Should Care About Fascia
Owner of The Anatomy Of Wellness
Fascia has recently become less of a mystery to researches. Deserving of in-depth examination, it covers every square inch of our bodies. The connective tissue not only runs under your skin, it encases every muscle and even each fiber within the muscle. It responds to stress and trauma and when damaged, can cause pain and limit mobility. It is a crucial component to how we move and adapt to different postures. I bet you haven’t previously given your fascia much thought. Here are 3 reasons you need to care about fascia.
1) Fascia has the capability to limit movement
Fascia, like other connective tissue, can change in response to repeated stress or injury. Just as tendons may thicken in response to repetitive motion or lifting heavy weights, fascia may thicken and stiffen in areas where it is repeatedly exposed to stress. This results in areas with less flexibility, and can contribute to limited range of motion and improper movement patterns. Research has also uncovered that fascia has contractile capabilities similar to muscle.
2) After an injury, your fascia needs your attention
Our bodies lay down collagen after an injury to repair the area. If movement or intervention is not had, the collagen will harden and become sticky. Imagine two layers of fascia as to pieces of printer paper. Alone, the sheets of paper glide over one another freely as would layers of healthy connective tissue. Now imagine spreading a layer of honey between the papers. This demonstrates the loss of glide that happens when collagen builds up between layers of connective tissue. It is important to interrupt this process and restore functionality with massage therapy techniques such as myofascial release or foam rolling.
“It is important to interrupt this process and restore functionality with massage therapy techniques such as myofascial release or foam rolling.”
It is important to incorporate movement at the right time during recovery after an injury as well as some sort of manual therapy such as massage therapy. Doing so retrains the muscles and connective tissue and helps aids their resiliency and adaptability.
“Just like every other aspect of self-care, your body won’t do it for you. You have to put in the time and effort.”
3) Like the rest of your body, you need to care for fascia
Just like every other aspect of self-care, your body won’t do it for you. You have to put in the time and effort. If you are in pain and have gone a week or two without improvement, it’s time to seek professional help. Fascia cannot be stretched in the way stretching is traditionally thought of. In order to elongate, fascia needs gentle pressure over a long period of time. A qualified LMT can assist you in accomplishing this.
Additionally, tissue needs regular movement so that it does not become rigid and inhibited. Moving also helps to hydrate the tissue so layers can glide over one another rather than becoming sticky. Drink up!
Regular massage therapy treatments and exercise are the best ways to keep your muscles and fascia functioning properly. There is still a lot to learn about fascia for researchers and practitioners alike. What we do know is movement is key for fascial health.
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