Fascia is the connective tissue that envelops and covers every organ, muscle, tendon and ligament. This spider-web looking tissue accounts for about 20% of your body mass and is a big reason why your organs and muscles can slide against each other and against your skin. Fascia is one continuous tissue from head to toe and is made up of mostly water. But the reason why we are talking about fascia today is that many people don’t know how to take care of it.
Like mentioned above, fascia is one continuous tissue. But it can get dense and constricted at certain spots. This inability to remain supple at certain places can cause pain somewhere else in your body. Many times we attribute these pains to muscle or tendons, so our efforts to fix it might be in vain. Let’s take that back pain example. You might stretch and spend more time standing and rub some pain cream take some time off from working out. But none of these actually heal your fascia. Plus, you might be looking at the wrong spot all along.
Scientists found that when you move your foot the fascia in your lower thigh glides with it. And when you stretch your leg, mobility around the back of the neck increases. On the other hand, trauma, stress, injury and inactivity can all cause fascia to stiffen. It is also believed that fascia can change and adapt much faster than the nervous system. Therefore, if you stretch your lower back for 30 minutes, but spend the rest of the day in a bad sitting position it might be the fascia that’s holding you back, not your muscles.
Fascia is now looked at as what holds your body together. Your bones actually float freely, and what keeps everything in place is your connective tissue. Now expand that thought into working out and moving in space and you can have an idea of how important it is to keep your fascia healthy and supple. If your movement is being affected by your fascia (rounding of upper back when doing squats, for example) this is something we want to fix right away, because it will help how you move outside the gym as well.
There are a few things you can do to restore the “tensegrity” (tension + integrity) of the fascia. Some myofascial release techniques like foam rolling and VooDoo Floss band use can help. But mostly, fascia wants you to move. Not simply stretch, but actually move within the range of motion you are working on.
Fascia is a very important component of a healthy body. One that many people overlook. If you are in pain, inactive, stressed or all the above, come by Celebration CrossFitand let’s discuss how we can help you!