Fascia's Relationship To Chronic Pain

Fascia's Relationship To Chronic Pain

Collagen is the building block of all connective tissues. Some collagen-primarily based connective tissues like bone and most cartilages, are a part of your body's load-bearing framework. Their goal is to resist "compressive" forces, while grossly sustaining the body's shape. Alternatively, you've gotten the elastic, collagen-based, connective tissues, whose chief job is to beat the "tensile" forces which might be consistently attempting to tug joints apart. These specific tissues don't have to be able to bear heavy loads, however instead, must be able to stretch and elast (to no less than a slight degree) while resisting tearing. These "elastic" collagen-based connective tissues embrace ligaments, tendons, muscle groups, and fascia. It's fascia we're concerned with here.

Although you'll have by no means heard the time period "fascia" before, you undoubtedly have seen it and know what it is. It is the thin (nearly translucent), white / yellow membrane that tightly surrounds muscles - or a pot roast. Deer hunters in our space call it "Striffin". The term "fascia" comes from the Latin word meaning "band" or "bandage," which is acceptable, because it is sort of a very thin ligamentous sheath or band.


"Fascia are the tough layers of fibrous, collagen-based mostly connective tissues that permeate the human body throughout. Fascia is the thin, cellophane-like, connective tissue that surrounds muscular tissues, teams of muscles, blood vessels, and nerves; binding these structures collectively in a lot the same method that plastic wrap can be utilized to hold the contents of a sandwich together. Fascia is the tissue the place the musculoskeletal system, circulatory system, and nervous system, all converge. Fascia consists of several layers, and extends uninterrupted from the top of the head to the tip of the toes. Like ligaments and tendons, fascia contains closely packed bundles of wavy collagen fibers which are oriented in a parallel fashion. Subsequently, wholesome fascia are versatile constructions which are able to resist great uni-directional stress forces."


Be aware that almost all anatomical drawings do not show a lot fascia. This leads to the misguided view that fascia will not be an important tissue, although it makes up roughly 1/3 of the tissue that's found in a muscle. There are several important capabilities of the fascia:

It binds and holds muscle mass collectively in a compact package.
It ensures correct alignment of the muscle fibers, blood vessels, nerves, and different tissue parts inside the muscle.
It transmits forces and loads, evenly all through the entire muscle.
It creates a uniformly clean surface that essentially "lubricates" the various surfaces that are available in contact with each other during movement.
It allows the muscle to vary form as they lengthen or shorten.
As long as the individual collagen fibers that make up the fascia, are aligned in parallel fashion to one another, the tissue is stretchy and elastic (think about lengthy hair that has been combed out. In case you run a comb or brush by it, it glides -- smoothly and unrestricted). But what happens when fascia is injured?


When fascia is stretched beyond its regular load-bearing capacity, it begins to tear. Keep in mind that these tears are so microscopic that they by no means show up on an x-ray, and solely on uncommon occasions (probably the Plantar Fascia) will they show up on an MRI. Fascial tears can be caused by sports accidents, repetitive trauma, automobile wrecks, postural distortions, falls, child bearing, abuse, etc, etc, etc. Fairly often individuals don't know how they ended up with fascial adhesions.

Every time a muscle is impacted (contact sports, falls, abuse, etc), or overused (lifting weights, running, over-training, heavy or repetitive jobs, and many others); collagen microfibers form in between adjacent layers of fascia to bind them together in order that the muscle groups can heal. These microfibers act like a cast. Sadly, they don't go away after the area has healed, and have a tendency to accumulate over time. This implies that over time, the elastic, collagen-based tissues (significantly muscular tissues and fascia) get increasingly stiffer and less stretchy.
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