Do you feel like no matter how much you stretch you still feel tight? You could have restricted fascia. Fascia consists of tough sheets of connective fibres, creating a 3-dimentional web that encases and weaves through every muscle, nerve, and organ in the body – it ties your whole body together. Healthy fascia is supple and has an elastic quality to it. It supports the maintenance of correct posture, prevents injury – such as muscle tears, secures tendons to bone and provides muscles with the mechanical stability necessary for forceful contraction.
Injury, overuse, and underuse can all have negative results. The fascia will become tight, shortened and begins to bind together. This restricted fascia results in dysfunction; it shuts off nerves, weakens muscles, restricts movement, and causes inflammation and pain.
It is important to release the fascia in order to restore complete function and/ or alleviate symptoms. There are many different techniques for alleviating fascial restriction, some which can be self-performed others which require the help of a professional such as a massage therapist.
Self-myofascial release (SMFR) includes things such as foam rolling, lacrosse balls and fascia stretching (performed immediately after working the muscle when it is “pumped”).
Other forms of fascial release include Active Release Technique (A.R.T), Myofascial release/Trigger Point Therapy and Deep Tissue Massage.
Regular fascia work is vital for optimal physical health. The stiffness or elasticity of your fascia determines to a large degree how your body moves, it is all about the fascia being supple and elastic rather than rigid. Having full range of motion (ROM) throughout the entire body is vital for optimal function. Tight and shortened muscles are not the only contributor to loss of function, fascia restriction can pull the body out of its normal alignment, compressing joint surfaces and bulging disks, resulting in pain, loss of motion, and weakness. Not only that but if your fascia is restricted it’s going to affect your ability to effectively stretch muscle.