What is fascia? Why does fascia often associate with pain? It appears that fascia is one of our richest sensory organs. It is the fabric that connects every cell, tissue and structure in the body. Fascia can contract and stretch. Research shows that fascia has an abundance of sensory nerve endings that signal pain and receptors that sense our body movements. Fascia along with the muscles are involved in moving our body. Fascia has many layers that innervate our internal tissues like muscle, blood vessels and nerves. The superficial layer allows the muscles to slide beneath the skin as they contract and has more pain sensing ability than other layers. The web like fascial layers move freely with the presence of hyaluronan, a lubricating substance of the fascia. When fascia is healthy it is elastic and resilient.
Healthy fascia can be deformed by injury, abuse or disuse. A thickening of the fascia (“fascia densification”) forms from the body’s healing response to trauma. The densification membrane becomes less elastic and slippery. It loses its ability to coordinate muscles efficiently so movements are less free, more rigid causing joint stiffness and pain. There is a shortening and chronic tension of the tissue that leads to the formation of myofascial trigger points.
Fascia densifications are caused by overuse and repetitive stress injuries, trauma and surgery, poor nutrition, and physical factors such as cold and wind that reduce the fluidity of the membrane and circulation of blood. The effect of fascial trauma distributes itself across the tissue webbing and tends to persist long after the initial healing of the other tissues.
If you have had an injury that may have affected your fascia and muscles take time to have an evaluation by a trigger point specialist. Myofascial trigger point release means that pain does not have to become chronic. For more information or to schedule an appointment call Christine at Trigger Point Myotherapy in Lincoln, NE 402-875-0932. www.triggerpointreleasetherapy.com