Fascia – The Amazing Infrastructure of our Bodies
SOLVERA HEALTH ARTICLE FOR HEALTHY CELLS (January 2023)
by Rosie Hoerr – Doctor of Physical Therapy / Solvera Health
Fascia is everywhere!
Fascia is made up of dense irregular connective tissue that surrounds each muscle. It binds muscles to each other, joins muscle and skin, lines our blood vessels, and is found in our bones, ligaments tendons, and organs. It is even found in the linings that surround our brain.
Fascia connects our entire body into one amazing network. We have ten times more sensory receptors in our fascia than we do in our muscles. Fascia is innervated by nerve fibers that communicate with the whole body. It has connections to our emotions, our breathing, our circulation, and pain sensations. It is also very adaptable and will lay down more fibers in a new direction of strain if the movement and loading on the tissue is repeated often enough. Collagen fibers in fascia are also responsible for repairing damaged tissue after inflammation from injury acts as a signal for the system to produce more cells.
There are three main layers of fascia: superficial, deep, and visceral
- superficial fascia blends with the dermis (which is a deep layer of skin)
- deep fascia covers your muscles, bones, nerves, and blood vessels
- visceral fascia wraps your organs with layers of connective tissue membranes
Each muscle is not only surrounded by multidirectional sheets of fascia, but also has fascial fibers running through and around each compartment in the muscle (and in every muscle fiber). The health and strength of muscles relies entirely on the fascia that surrounds each muscle and holds it in place. If the fascia is not healthy, the muscle will not be healthy.
Fascia responds to movement as well as lack of movement. Movement, pressure, friction, and loading of the fascia are all elements that maintain a healthy environment of the fascia. Poor fascial stimulation is part of the reason for the stiffness we experience normally due to the lack of fluid nutrient flow to the cells. Most of us experience stiffness at some point or another, but if not addressed, it will worsen. Daily regular movement through a wide range without extensive stretching is needed to maintain the health and flexibility of our fascia as we age.
The enemy of fascia is inflammation and extended periods of stillness. Inflammation can come from various sources: injury, diet, trauma, and illness. Sometimes our bodies get stuck in inflammation or cannot heal our cells and fascia without outside help. Physical therapy can help the body to heal by helping to restore function and health of the fascia.
Conveniently located at the corner of University and War Memorial in Peoria, physical therapists at Solvera Health are trained in several different methods to help restore health and function to your fascia. By using techniques such as myofascial release, myofascial cupping techniques and fascial counterstain, they can help improve headaches, back pain, shoulder pain, brain fog, neck pain, leg pain and stiffness in the body.
If you are looking for relief from your chronic pain, recent injury, or from stiffness, call 855-476-5837 or request a physical therapy appointment on-line.