ALL ABOUT FASCIA
Over 30 percent of muscular force generated is due to the fascia. It’s role in human movement is incredibly important, those superhuman feats of strength and athleticism that we read about are due primarily to the fascia. The resurgence in old strongman exercises such as using Mace bells and kettle bells is due to the fact that these exercises have an effect on the fascia providing a more functional type training.
Forty years ago most laymen didn’t know what fascia was, the medical profession and scientists had traditionally ignored fascia, simply because they didn’t understand its importance.
Anatomists usually just cut away this “white and translucent tissue from muscles, bones and organs to show the more important structures in dissections.
Medical texts had beautiful diagrams of the muscles, bones and ligaments after the fascia had been carefully removed.
Traditionally fascia was a medical term that applied typically to specific sheets of connective tissue in the body – what we call the plantar fascia and palmer fascia, thoracolumbar fascia, the fascia lata (iliotibial band) and the rectus sheath are examples of these fascial sheets.
UNDERSTANDING FASCIA’S FUNCTION
Fascial research has until recently just been carried out on human cadavers, the fresher the better. These have provided an understanding of the structure of fascia it’s layers and how it connects different muscles, nerves, organs and other parts of the body together.
More recently Jean-Claude Guimberteau MD a hand surgeon has studied fascia “in vivo” using an endoscope equipped with a high definition camera, his observations were amazing, he found that the the extra cellular matrix which is the substance filling the free spaces in the body consisted of a continuous, bodywide, multifibrillar network of fibres and fibrils extending from the surface of the skin to the periosteum covering the bone. This network consists of billions of interconnected multidirectional, often tubular macroscopic and microscopic fibres and fibrils made of a loose gel, these fibres are constantly moving, interweaving and interconnecting creating a 3 dimensional lattice work which enables the fascia to move, slide and adapt to mechanical load and stress, this adaption is termed Tensegrity.
The function of fascia, it’s anatomy, physiology and it’s role in both movement and as a sensory organ together with an in-depth look at how Myofascial Correction has such a dramatic effect on the myofascial component of injuries will be discussed in later articles.
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