Fascia is one of the most important components of human anatomy. It is a three-dimensional web of fatty tissue that connects muscles, organs and bones. Fascia functions as a shock absorber, movement coordinator, and general “holder-together” for the entire body!
In fact, fascia covers and is intertwined in most muscles— when a muscle is extended or stretched, the associated fascia helps coordinate and smooth that movement in relation to other parts of the body.
Until recently, fascia was not regarded as a vitally important part of human anatomy. We now know that this could not be further from the truth, and that treating fascia-related issues is one of the most important jobs of any health practitioner who works in the musculo-skeletal arena.
What can go wrong with fascia
Fascia, like muscle, is susceptible to tightening, twisting, stretching and more. It can also become hard and immobile, changing from a near liquid viscous gel to a brittle solid. Tension in the fascia can restrict movement and contribute to poor posture.
Triggers of fascia issues can be injury, but also more long term problems such as poor posture in the workplace. Being overly sedentary (especially at work) can also contribute to stiffness and lack of mobility in the fascia.
When these things happen there is a profound effect on the rest of the body. And since fascia is found almost everywhere, the range of problems that arise from complications with fascia are immense. Some of the most common we see at Madison Square Wellness are:
- Plantar fasciitis
- Tension headaches
- Lower back pain
- Jaw Pain
- Reduced flexibility
- Reduced range of motion
These problems, among others, demonstrate the importance of understanding fascia’s relationship to the rest of the body from a holistic perspective. When dealing with fascia-related problems, our goal at MSQW is to properly diagnose the subtle, underlying functional issues that cause more obvious symptoms.
What we do to help
Too often problems with fascia are ignored or overlooked because they are hard to recognize through X-rays and other western diagnostic tools.
At MSQW, the treatment methods we use to address fascia-related issues are rooted in an interdisciplinary and integrated suite of techniques that draw on chiropractic, acupuncture, physical therapy and massage therapy.
Depending on your needs and preferences, our diverse staff of practitioners can diagnose and treat fascia-related issues using a wide variety of tools. Some of the most popular techniques we use to treat fascia problems are:
Active Release Therapy (ART): ART is a manual therapy that aims to break up painful and immobilizing adhesions in soft tissue. When fascia becomes tight due to acute or pressure injuries, ART can be an effective way to regain mobility by reducing tension and returning elasticity.
Neurokinetic Therapy (NKT): NKT is an effective modality for treating fascia problems caused by chronic issues of misuse, such as poor posture. NKT seeks to identify problematic movement patterns that may be causing damage to the fascia, and through gentle instruction correct patients to move in more optimal ways.
Graston Technique: This treatment involves instrument assisted soft tissue mobilization. PTs use a specially designed tool to locate and treat dysfunction in the fascia, muscle and tendons. Graston is like a much deeper version of a deep-tissue massage— many patients find it extremely effective in working out knots and other muscle problems.
Gua Sha: Gua Sha is a Traditional Chinese Medicine technique that involves using a tool to gently “scrape” the skin in order to stimulate better circulation in a particular area of soft tissue. Gua Sha is especially effective at loosening tight fascia, and reducing inflammation.
If you feel you could benefit from any of these services, or want to learn more about how to keep your fascia healthy and strong, contact us here to set up a free consultation with one of our friendly practitioners.