Is Your Fascia Causing You Pain?
First of all, what is fascia? Fascia is a thin casing of connective tissue that holds everything in place including organs, blood vessels, muscles, bones, and nerve fibers in your body (Muscle pain: It may actually be your fascia). So, what exactly happens when you don’t take care of the fascia in your body? Fascia is critical in the body because it holds everything in place, people should stretch daily to keep the healthy fascia from building up, because without stretching the buildup of fascia can cause stiffness and tension, it can cause a loss of mobility, and buildup can lead to chronic pain.
Fascia, when healthy is stretchy, smooth, and allows your body to move freely without pain. When you don’t take care of your body, that fascia can become hard and stiff, causing a buildup of knots and pain.
What are common causes of fascia thickening?
- A lifestyle with limited physical activity
- Repetitive movement of a specific part of the body
- Injuries, surgeries, or a trauma
All of these problems can build over time. People who don’t have much activity become stiff and have a lot of joint pain. When we say repetitive movement can cause fascia thickening the best example to use would be a Ultrasound Technologist. They use repetitive movements of the wrist causing carpal tunnel. As the fascia hardens from repetition, it pulls on neighboring tissues. This can cause inflammation and swelling in the wrist, resulting in the characteristics of carpal tunnel.
There are many benefits to having healthy fascia including a better range of movement, less stiffness, and decrease in pain. Some ways to achieve healthy fascia include the following:
- Keep moving: it’s important to be active throughout the day. If you have a job where you sit at a desk, take time to get up and walk or stretch.
- Stretch regularly: stretching exercises are good for your health. Stretching keeps the fascia flexible, and it can help reduce the risk of inflammation and other complications with musculoskeletal problems.
- Posture: poor posture can cause fascia to tighten. Try to remind yourself to keep a good posture throughout the day.
For those who suffer from fascia pain there are many ways to help relieve pain. It is important if you have pain to stay on top of these therapies to help loosen fascia, and reduce the pain. These therapies include:
- Heat: as I mentioned earlier heat from a heating pad, warm bath or shower can help the connective tissue become more elastic.
- Yoga: see a highly trained yoga therapist to get a recommendation of yoga poses targeted to treat your area of pain.
- Foam rolling: by using a foam roller, you can target areas of concern. It is something that can be done easily from the comfort of your home.
- Massage: seeing a licensed massage therapist who can use pressure to release knots can also be a therapeutic way to relieve tension.
Guide to myofascial release for Carpal Tunnel. CarpalRx carpal tunnel home treatment. (2020, March 24). Retrieved December 11, 2021, from https://www.carpalrx.com/post/myofascial-release-for-carpal-tunnel.
Muscle pain: It may actually be your fascia. Johns Hopkins Medicine. (n.d.). Retrieved December 11, 2021, from https://www.hopkinsmedicine.org/health/wellness-and-prevention/muscle-pain-it-may-actually-be-your-fascia.
Myofascial pain syndrome: Symptoms, diagnosis & treatment. Cleveland Clinic. (n.d.). Retrieved December 11, 2021, from https://my.clevelandclinic.org/health/diseases/12054-myofascial-pain-syndrome.