Are you suffering from persistent back, shoulder, neck or joint problems?
Did you realise a fascia malfunction could be the root cause?
While normally associated with muscle, fascia reacts quite differently to exercise and manipulation. And the timescales associated with fascia damage and repair are much longer.
So, we need to invoke a different mental picture, and a revised approach to treatment.
Fascia UnderstandingLet's start with a few key facts about fascia:
• Fascia is a three-dimensional mesh-like web of fibres and lubricating goo.
• Fascia wraps and supports muscle fibres, bones, organs, blood vessels, nerves, and so on.
• Fascia is composed of three major components: collagen, elastin and ground substance.
• Collagen fibres are tough non-stretchy threads that provide strength and support.
• Elastin are rubber-like fibres that stretch and recoil.
• Ground substance is a thick lubricating goo which provides shock absorption.
For a more detailed picture read Julia Lucas's excellent fascia overview article Understanding Your Fascia: Fascia may be the missing piece for your lingering injury written for the Runners World magazine .
Fascia takes much longer to stretch and contract than muscle. So, to be effective a massage needs to be administered using gentle pressure and slower movements.
There's a useful collection of self-treatment stretches at this illustrated stretching guide page. But remember, for fascia you'll need to stay completely relaxed, perform slow, gentle stretches and hold each stretch for many minutes rather than just ten to thirty seconds.