How Can Chiropractic Aid in Fascia Repair

Describing fascia has always been difficult. My patients have all heard of bone, tendon, nerve, ligament, vertebrae, but fascia?? Anatomy books picture in detail every organ, muscle, bone, but the fascia supporting fibers are all excised as if they never existed. The body’s organs just seem to float in their bony cavities.
It turns out that fascia is important.

According to the Fascia Research Society, “fascia is the most pervasive, but perhaps least understood network of the human body. No longer considered the ‘scraps’ of cadaver dissections, fascia has now attracted the attention of scientists and clinicians alike.”

This is because fascia, unlike skin, blood vessels, liver or heart, is comprised of mostly collagen fibers either organized into sheets or ropes bathed in a slippery fluid matrix. Fascia is mostly the protein threads that cells produce, not the cells itself. The collagen protein sheets surround muscles, tendon, ligaments and bone. Fascia is the real mortar and flexible cables that attach all soft tissue to bone and to each other.

Fascia roles are diverse and are not limited to the muscle-skeletal system, but for this short blog, only muscle-skeletal roles will be discussed.
Some of fascia’s muscle skeletal roles:
1. Provide slippery surface so muscles and tendons slide over one another
2. Attaches the body’s organs to bones and each other so they remain in place
with movement
3. Optimize muscle movement patterns by physically attaching one muscle to
another
4. Protects muscles from being overstretched
5. Sets muscle tone

Chiropractic and fascial manipulation technique can help restore fascial integrity when damaged.

Provide slippery surface so muscles and tendons slide over one another
Fascial cells produce hyaluronic acid, a fluid that bathes the many layers of fascial sheets allowing them to slide effortlessly over one another. After an injury, hyaluronic acid coagulates and stiffens, greatly decreasing the ability of fascial sheets from effortlessly sliding over one another. This causes pain syndromes, stiffness, thickening of tissue and decreases the body’s ability to move well. Chiropractic and fascial manipulation technique can greatly help.
Attaches the body’s organs to bones and each other so they remain in place with movement
Organs do not float, they are physically attached by fascia to neighboring bones and organs. Damage to a muscle or fascia can gently tug on a organ distorting its shape and interfering with its function. This can cause many symptoms. Chiropractic and fascial manipulation technique can greatly help.
Attaches the body’s organs to bones and each other so they remain in place with movement
Muscle do not move individually. As a muscle contracts, fascial fibers from the contracted muscle tug on other muscles exciting them and changing their contracted direction. The fascial network hardwires common movement patterns so that we can move effectively and quickly. After an injury, the damaged or frayed fibers do not effectively pull muscles in their correct line of drive resulting in dysfunctional movement. This can cause pain, over-use syndromes, restricted range of motion, and damage to joints. Chiropractic and fascial manipulation technique can greatly help.
Protects muscles from being overstretched
Fascial sheets surround muscles, bands, and tendons like saran wrap. Generally, fascia’s ability to stretch is less than muscles’. So when a muscle approaches its stretched limit, fascia provides extra armor to limit tension and is often injured causing inflammation, thickening, and dysfunctional pain patterns. Chiropractic and fascial manipulation technique can greatly help.
Sets muscle tone
Embedded in fascia are precision motion detectors that provide feedback to the brain of muscles tone and position. This feedback is essential to smooth movement. When damaged through trauma or over-use, these receptors do not provide the brain with accurate information resulting in often tight or flaccid muscles and movement dysfunction. Movement dysfunction can cause pain, over-use syndromes, restricted range of motion and damage to joints. Chiropractic and fascial manipulation technique can greatly help.

Please contact Jeffrey Linder, DC at Bryant Park Wellness with any comments.

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