What is Fascia?
Fascia is a three dimensional web of connective tissue that runs from the top of our heads to the bottom of our feet and to the fingertips.
Fascia functions to provide structure and support to all parts of our body including the bones, muscles, vessels, spinal cord and internal organs. It also functions as a shock absorber, allowing our bodies to withstand many forces throughout our lives without being injured.
Sometimes due to chronic poor posture, injury, inflammation, surgery or stress, our fascia can tighten and ultimately cause pain and decreased function. Fascial restrictions in one area can pull on another and cause symptoms seemingly unrelated to a person's injury or situation, as demonstrated in the figure to the left.
(Picture courtesy of MFR Seminars, Malvern, PA)
There are no medical tests to assess one's fascia. A restriction cannot be diagnosed by MRI, X-ray or CT scan, only by trained hands and eyes. Consequently, someone may have a very real, but unexplainable, pain even though all tests have come back normal.
Not all problems are caused by restricted fascia, but the majority of people who suffer from chronic pain also have a fascial component to their pain.