How is fascia injured?
One of the most important functions of fascia is that it is the shock absorber to the body, so even without a direct injury – it can become injured and bound down! What do I mean? Well every single stumble, fall and trip during our lifetime is recorded and stored in the fascial system. This includes injuries that are sustained in utero and during birthing. Impact sports such as Rugby, American Football, even running will have high impact on the fascial system. Patients who have engaged in impact sport over a long period may have systemic damage to their fascial system, and may require sustained treatment to improve the condition of fascial system and therefore function.
Repetitive movements also have an impact on the fascial system as the fascial system becomes more dense in the over used area. As much as 90% of muscle is now considered to be fascia (ref Myers Anatomy trains). Before the popularisation of fascial techniques, we would have addressed muscles in cases of repetitive strain injuries, now we would address the fascia in the related areas and beyond.
Surgeries impact on the fascial system, not only is the fascia cut during surgery, but collagenous fibres (one of the main components of fascia) are laid down in the healing process, making up a large portion of the visible and palpable scar tissue.
Habitually Poor posture can have its roots in either physical or emotional, and will impact on the fascial system. When fascia is continually over loaded to support a position in space, it will adapt and collagen fibres will be laid down along stress lines, as we compensate in space, fighting the forces of gravity to stay upright.
Trauma both physical and emotional will impact on the fascia. We will look at this in a lot more detail in future blogs on trauma.
Burns will inevitably have an impact on the fascial system, we also see burn injuries after radiotherapy, and this can be helped by myofascial release therapy.
Inflammatory process compromises the fascial system; this can be in response to injury, a medical condition or as a side effect to medication. The inflammatory response creates imbalance in the cellular fluids resulting in fascial adhesions and scar tissue.
When fascia is bound down, the function of the whole is impeded; bound down fascia will restrict cardio- vascular flow, lymph flow, the free flow interstitial fluid and the transmission of nerve impulses. Release fascia to assist on the restoration of health, reducing pain and improving function.
What does healthy fascia feel like?
Relaxed and wavy configuration.
Strong yet flexible.
What does injured fascia feel like?
Bound down and dense ( with more collagen fibres laid down).
The more collagenous fibres have been laid down the longer the release of the fascia will take.
Coming next: What can be done about?