Fascia is simply fascinating! It’s this amazing and sadly under recognized system in the body that functions to provide structure and support to all of our body parts. It holds all of our pieces and parts together, acts as a shock absorber and even plays a part in our immune system!
What does fascia look like? It’s a three dimensional webbing of tough connective tissue that runs from the bottoms of our feet all the way up to the top of our heads. This short video shows and gives the best explanation of fascia. Click here to watch at least the first 2 min.
Fascia is composed of 3 things. 1) Elastin fibers – our skin is made primarily of elastin and it allows for movement. 2) Collagen fibers – this fiber is less flexible and shows up in our body as scar tissue. 3) Ground substance – this is a gelatinous substance that surrounds the elastin and fibers. What happens when these elements are shortened or solidified? Well, they become restricted. If you are a visual learner, imagine this: a plastic bag full of cooked spaghetti that has oil on it. The strands of spaghetti slither around together with ease – this is how healthy fascia moves in our body. If you left that bag open for a day and the spaghetti dries out, it gets stuck together without the oil and the strands no longer move as easy anymore – this is similar to fascial restrictions in our body.
So, why do you need to know about this strange stuff? Because that crick in your neck, or the plantar fasciitis you recently started feeling could be related to a fascial restriction. These restrictions are often caused by injury, stress, trauma, chronic poor posture and inflammation. What is so fascinating about fascial restrictions is they can take place in the neck but the pain pattern will show up in the feet! The body is truly an amazing and complex wonder.
I hope you enjoyed learning a little bit about fascia!