Considering fascia to inform treatment
Fascia, or connective tissue, has been the Cinderella of human anatomy for too long. Far from the “packing material” we once suspected it to be, too eager to ignore it to expose the wonderment of the muscles underneath; fascia has emerged from obscurity as the unsung hero of force transduction, elastic recoil, biotensegrity, proprioception and interoception. With 100 times more neural input to the brain than even our eyes, fascia is the “home” of our immune capability, inflammation, lymphatic function, and thermoregulation. The list goes on! It even plays a role in endocrine function. As both an integrator and a divider, fascia is the only system that touches every other system in the body, a “metasystem” per se connecting and influencing all other systems.
So how can a better understanding of fascia better inform Physiotherapy practice? It’s our first region of influence whenever we place our hands on a body and a conduit to shift focus. So let’s take a closer look at fascia.