Attributing a painful neck or backache to fatigued muscles or stiff joints is common, but these symptoms may also be connected to a less recognized component of the body: the fascia. Until recently, this intricate network of tissue spanning the body garnered minimal attention, despite playing a crucial role in every movement.
Fascia, a thin webbing of connective tissue, surrounds and supports organs, blood vessels, bones, nerve fibers, and muscles. Besides supporting internal structures, it houses nerves, making it nearly as sensitive as skin!
Despite its appearance as a single sheet, fascia comprises multiple layers from superficial, deep, to visceral. Fascia is designed to stretch with movement, though certain factors can cause the fascia to thicken and become adhesive. When it dries up and tightens around muscles, it restricts mobility and leads to painful knots.
In its healthy state, fascia is smooth, slippery, and flexible. However, factors such as limited physical activity, repetitive movements, and trauma can cause it to become sticky, forming adhesions. Distinguishing whether pain originates from muscles, joints, or fascia can be challenging. Typically, muscle and joint issues worsen with movement, while fascia adhesions feel better with movement.
Over time, adhesions can worsen, compressing muscles and forming trigger points, ultimately leading to myofascial pain syndrome. Treatment that focuses on reducing fascial adhesions, reducing friction, and improving range of motion are key to reducing pain.
At The Backbone, we recommend consistent movement, regular flexibility and strength conditioning, maintaining good posture, and drinking plenty of water to support healthy fascia. When in doubt, seeking professional help from a naprapath can be beneficial, as their specialized treatment aims to specifically reduce connective tissue dysfunction and provide support to the fascia.
Book Your Naprapathic Treatment Today