What Is Fascia & Why Is It Important?
When you feel tight, stiff, or sore on a continual basis, you might assume you’ve injured a muscle or perhaps pulled a tendon. Unless you’re a health professional, a dedicated athlete, or a biologist, you probably won’t consider that you have actually injured the surrounding tissue, which is known as fascia.
What is Fascia?
You’re probably familiar with the placement and purpose of your muscles, tendons, organs, and other connective tissues in your body, but it’s likely that you have never heard of fascia.
Fascia is the Latin word for “band,” which is an accurate description of the fibrous connective tissue that lies beneath the skin. Fascia is a series of stretchy layers designed to move with your muscles and joints. This meshy tissue covers the entire body, connecting, stabilizing, organizing, and separating the muscles, bones, and internal organs of our bodies. Simply put, this band of tissue is what holds us together and provides a type of protective armour to our insides.
To learn more about fascia, you can see our blog post about fascia and why it’s important for your overall health.
What Causes Fascial Pain?
Healthy fascial tissue is flexible, smooth, and has astounding healing abilities, but when fascia becomes unhealthy, it tightens and can stick to itself, causing it to crinkle. Stiff, sticky fascia can restrict movement and cause pain or discomfort.
Fascial pain is often caused by repetitive movements in one area of the body, which can happen during tasks in your job or your daily routine at home. Fascial pain can also be caused by a lack of movement. If your daily life is mostly sedentary, you might develop some degree of fascial pain over time. Fascial pain can also be the result of an injury or trauma, either physical or emotional.
Other causes of fascial pain include:
- Inflammatory responses
- Poor posture
- Muscle injuries
- Chronic stress
- Lifestyle choices
An Overview of Fascial Therapies
Fascial pain manifests in different ways, depending on the cause of the damage. The best therapy for your pain will depend on how you were injured and the location and quality of your pain. There are three main types of fascial therapy:
Fascial Stretch Therapy
In recent years, world-class athletes have raved about the benefits of fascial stretch therapy, increasing the popularity of the targeted stretching technique. The idea behind the therapy is to move your joints, along with the surrounding tissues, to allow the muscles and fascia to relax together. This type of gentle movement, with mild pressure, creates a deep relaxation from head to toe, leaving you feeling refreshed.
Using fascial stretch therapy can help you recover faster from intense workouts, increase your athletic performance, increase your range of motion, offer support for rehabilitation injuries, and relieve joint and muscle pain.
Myofascial release therapy specifically targets the myofascial tissue that surrounds and connects the muscles in the body. The treatment begins with the massage therapist gently massaging your myofascial tissue in search of tight spots or stiffness. When the trigger points are found, the massage therapist will apply direct but gentle pressure to the area for a few minutes before releasing. The treatment continues until the stiffness is gone, and it may also include myofascial cupping to stimulate greater release in certain areas. When the therapy is over, you’ll feel relaxed and more mobile.
Myofascial release therapy is a mild treatment with low risks associated with it. However, it is applied during massage therapy, and massage therapy is not recommended for individuals with burns, broken or fractured bones, fragile bones, or who are taking blood-thinning medication.
Rapid Neurofascial Reset
Rapid neurofascial reset uses the technique known as rapid reset massage. This process requires constant assessment and treatment as the therapist applies precise, direct tension to the problem area while the client makes movements as directed. The goal is to create a certain degree of pain to spark the neurological system to restore normal function to the fascial tissues. The day after the treatment, you’ll feel sore, but in the following days, you’ll feel less pain, more mobility, and less overall tension. This is a fully clothed massage treatment that requires a lot of movement, so make sure to wear stretchy, comfortable clothes to your appointment.
Which Fascial Therapy Do You Need?
Are you physically active?
- Fascial stretch therapy is an ideal preventative treatment for athletes who want to avoid getting injured or who are recovering from an injury.
- Myofascial release therapy can help both professional and recreational athletes who experience stiff or sore joints.
- Rapid nuerofascial reset therapy can help athletes recover from back or knee pain, as well as tendonitis.
Do you suffer from headaches and migraines?
- Myofascial release therapy can help relieve pressure and tension in the muscles and surrounding myofascial tissue that causes headaches and migraines.
- Rapid neurofascial reset therapy can help target the fascial area contributing to the migraines and reset the neurological system to restore normal functions.
Do you have a muscle injury?
- Fascial stretch therapy can help heal muscle injuries caused by physical activity, sports, and or accidents.
Do you suffer from TMJD?
- Rapid neurofascial reset therapy is a recommended treatment for temporomandibular joint dysfunction (TMJD), healing soreness in the jaw and mandibular muscles.
Have you been diagnosed with myofascial pain syndrome?
- The ideal treatment for myofascial pain syndrome is myofascial release therapy.
Do you have tendonitis or carpal tunnel?
- Rapid neurofascial reset therapy has been used to treat individuals suffering from tendonitis or carpal tunnel pain.
Ideal Clients for Fascial Therapies
Fascial stretch therapy is ideal for:
- Athletes and active people
- Individuals with injuries
- Those with joint and muscle pain
- Individuals with a reduced range of motion
Myofascial release therapy is ideal for:
- Individuals with stiff and sore muscles
- Anyone with chronic headaches or migraines
- Individuals diagnosed with myofascial pain syndrome
Rapid neurofascial reset therapy is ideal for:
- Anyone with chronic migraines
- Individuals suffering from back or knee pain
- Anyone with tendonitis or carpal tunnel
- Individuals with TMJD
Book a Fascial Therapy Appointment in St. Albert, Alberta
If you’re suffering from fascial pain, book an appointment with St. Albert’s highest-rated massage clinic, Urban Massage, and Wellness. When you come to us with pain and discomfort, our professional massage therapists will ensure you leave feeling refreshed, relaxed, and energetic. Book your next appointment online today or reach out to us to learn more about fascial therapies!