What is Fascia?
Fascia is tissue primarily made up of collagen fibers that connects, stabilises and protects muscles and internal organs.
What does Fascia do?
Fascia changes in response to repeated stress or injury. When the muscle is exposed to repeated periods of stress or strain, the fascia may thicken and stiffen. This reduces flexibility and can contribute to limited range of motion and improper movement patterns. In time, all these factors can result in chronic pain and injuries.
Fascia may also lose flexibility due to inactivity. Your muscles may get stiff when you sit or stay in any one position for too long, and your fascia does, too. This can change the way you move and cause physical stress on different parts of your body that may kick off a cycle of injury.
6 steps to keep your Fascia ‘fit’!
- KEEP MOVING:Lubrication between fascial surfaces that aren’t regularly moved over time decreases. This creates adhesion strong enough to inhibit range of motion. Take a few minutes first thing in the morning to roll around in bed and really stretch out.
- HYDRATION: Just like every other tissue in your body, your fascia is made of water. It works better, moves better and feels better when it’s well hydrated.
- STRETCH YOUR MUSCLES:When your muscles are chronically tight the surrounding fascia tightens along with them. Over time the fascia becomes rigid, compressing the muscles and the nerves.
- STRETCH YOUR FASCIA: Once your fascia has tightened up, it doesn’t want to let go. Because the fascia can withstand up to 2,000 pounds of pressure per square inch, you’re not going to force your way through, so stretch gently. To stretch the fascia, hold gentle stretches for three to five minutes, relaxing into a hold.
- USE A FOAM ROLLER: Like stretching, using a foam roller on your fascia is different than on your muscles. Be gentle and slow in your movements, and when you find an area of tension hold sustained pressure for three to five minutes.
- HEAL AN INJURY PROPERLY:If you’re attempting to run through an injury, or returning from one with a limp, beware: Your fascia will respond to your new mechanics and, eventually, even after your injury is gone, you may maintain that same movement pattern. That’s a recipe for an injury cycle. It’s better to take some extra time than to set yourself up for long-term trouble.