Fascia’s Role in Stiffness, Tightness & Pain

What is Fascia?
Fascia is the connective tissue that literally holds the entire body together. Imagine a whole roasting chicken that you would find at your grocery store. If you were to pull up on the skin of the chicken, you would see a substance that is attached underneath the skin and also to the muscle beneath it. It is clear, thin and sticky. This is the fascia.
How the fascia becomes damaged 
and what happens when the fascia is damaged
Plantar fasciitis: Plantar, being the bottom of the foot and fasciitis (any word with “itis” at the end of it, means that something is inflamed and irritated). Put those two together and you have a recipe for very uncomfortable pain that can often takes weeks or months to rehabilitate. If you have ever experienced plantar fasciitis, you have unfortunately become acquainted with damaged fascia. This is just one common example of how the fascia can play a role in contributing to our various aches and pains. 
What to do?

There are many different ways to free the fascia!
Fascia that has become damaged is repaired by the body with more fascia that is sticky and will adhere to the damaged area. These are known as adhesions and will interfere with the normal movement in that area. They are also commonly known as “knots”. This can cause stiffness, tightness and eventually pain. If these adhesions develop near or on a nerve, the pain will be intensified and take longer to heal. If you have had a massage and experienced a crunchy feeling when the therapist was working on an area, that is most likely an adhesion. They have been described as feeling like little marbles or bubble wrap being popped when pressure is applied to them. Sometimes having adhesion work can be painful, but most clients say that it is a pleasant pain that they are grateful for.
Ways to free the fascia
  • Exercise
  • Stretching
  • Massage by an experienced therapists in the area of myofascial release. (muscle release)
  • Self massage with a myofascial release tool, such as a foam roller or a tennis ball.
  • Cupping (See our past articles on this if you are unfamiliar)
  • Hydration (dehydration causes excessive stickiness in the adhesions)
Fascia health is essential to overall health! Take care of yourself and your body will take care of you.

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