Soft-tissue: we summarized all you need to know about it

20 de setembro de 2019

Many people are not aware of fascia existence. Nevertheless, a lot of health problems, pains, and even beauty related factors have their origin in this soft tissue. Its role is therefore quite significant within the complex structure of our body. Having knowledge about it is especially important for professionals working with the musculoskeletal system, such as physiotherapists or personal trainers. Whether in treating injuries, relieving pain or preventing it.

But what is the fascia exactly? What is it for? Why is it that important? Let’s find out with more details.

Fascia definition

Fascia is a body system that looks very similar to a spider web. More clearly, this “web” is nothing more than a fibrous soft tissue. A gigantic tissue that covers and interpenetrates every muscle, bone, nerve, artery and vein. Consequently, it also is on all of our internal organs, including the heart, lungs, brain, spinal cord etc.

Thus, fascia is continuous and runs throughout the whole organism – from head to feet, without interruption. It keeps every part of the body connected. This is one of the soft tissue most important feature, especially when it comes to treatments – involving muscle aches and injuries, for example – and, unfortunately, many problems too – since they may be related to a fascial damage. Let’s understand this more closely below.

What is this soft tissue for?

As we have seen, fascia surrounds and interconnects all the structures. This provides a protective layer against trauma to both organs and the body as a whole.

The soft tissue also plays an important role in supporting the musculoskeletal system. Its support allows us to perform functional activities such as getting up, walking, jumping and running. In addition, the fact that blood, nerves and muscles are enveloped and penetrated by fascia allows organs to slide smoothly against each other.

All of these are crucial to our ability to withstand stress and perform simple daily activities!

soft tissue
Image: Shutterstock

What happens when fascia is damaged and how it occurs

In its healthy state, fascia has a wavy and relaxed appearance, which ables the soft tissue – and ourselves – to stretch and move without restrictions.

But when our body suffers physical or emotional trauma, in the process of healing or inflammation, fascia loses its flexibility. When we say trauma, we mean falls, car accidents, surgeries, stress, repetitive strain injuries (RSI), or even incorrect posture!

Losing flexibility implies that the soft tissue becomes restricted. Therefore, it no longer offers adequate support and, rather, becomes a source of tension for the whole organism. This happens, remember, because fascia is interconnected. So trauma in one place can be felt in other parts too. In fact, studies have shown that fascial knee strain, for example, can have consequences in places such as hips or ankles.

The changes that these traumas cause in the fascial system influence body functions. Soft tissue restrictions cause poor blood flow, weaker nerve impulses, limited flexibility, limited range of motion, and a lot of other problems. The resulting symptoms may be muscle aches, headaches or restrictions on movement.

Can we act on fascia to solve all these problems?

Many patients take pain-relieving medications, undergo traditional or occupational physical therapy, or experience massage treatments. But none of these options have an real effect. They are temporary because none of them treat myofascial restriction directly.

There is a specific name for the traumas that affects fascia and which have consequences on our muscles – or the opposite: traumas to the muscles that influence the fascia. Anyway, they are called myofascial restrictions. “Myo” refers to muscles and “fascial” to the soft tissue in question. Thus we can see that this definition indicates how closely the two are related.

Therefore, only Myofascial Release can treat the entire myofascial complex, eliminating tension and restrictions that causes the above symptoms. Serving also as a form of maintenance!

Now that we have reached the end of this post, you know a lot more about this incredible soft tissue. To discover more about myofascial release you just need to access the links that follows:

Keep reading and learning with us!

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