What Is Fascia? And How Do Osteopaths Treat It?
Fascia, myofascial, myofascia, myofascial release, fascia release, osteopathy, myofascial pain, fascia pain.
You may hear the common term 'myofascial release'. Well what exactly is myofascia or fascia and how is it treated?
What is Fascia?
The fascia layer is an all encompassing connective tissue layer, like the skin, which covers you from head to toe changing thickness throughout different regions. To my patients I describe it as the web-like, white layer surrounding a mandarin orange, an easy concept to understand. The fascia's job is to support, lubricate and prevent muscles catching on anything nearby. It basically wraps them up and protects them.
Fascia is made up of two layers
What is it made of?
The fascia is comprised of elastin and collagen, and also transports fluids to the tissues. An easy way to demonstrate the vast continuity of fascia is to pull gently on someone's arm, they will feel it in the shoulder, neck and so forth.
How does it cause pain?
When injury or trauma occurs to the body the fascia will likely twist and create adhesions. These adhesions can decrease blood flow, cause pain and restrict movement. This tension can be felt along the fascia line in other places. That's why in osteopathy we look at the body as a whole, because your pain area might not be the culprit. We call this the fascia drag.
Common reasons for fascia tightness
If adhesions occur near a nerve they can cause pain, numbness and tingling.
How Do Osteopaths Treat It?
Osteopathy helps to unwind and support the fascia through direct or indirect treatment.
Direct: more pressure on the fascia to help lengthen and stretch
Indirect: less pressure to help guide the fascia to unwind on its own.
Our aim is to change the stiffness, sliding motion and density of the fascia so it can better adapt to physical stresses. The treatment of fascia essentially treats the whole body due to the nature of it encompassing the body.
If you're experiencing tightness, poor posture, sports injuries or pain, book an appointment online with osteopathic practitioner Georgia Haley today!