Do You Have a Recurrent Sporting Injury?

Fitness

Ok so you’ve been to the doctor, physiotherapist, chiropractor, massage therapist, anyone who may hold the answer to that nagging injury you just can’t shake. You have been icing, stretching, strengthening, doing all the ‘right’ things but still the injury persists and you end up limping home from the gym or your run. 

You are feeling so disgruntled, your body is letting you down and nobody seems to be able to help. Maybe it is old age, maybe I’m just not designed to exercise? 

Don’t give up, the answer may be literally just under your skin and nobody has addressed it.

FASCIA – what is it?

It is interesting (and absurd) that when looking at standard medical literature, the anatomy concentrates on muscles, bones, organs, etc but fails to make mention of an integral and important aspect of our body, Fascia. Fascia lies just below your skin, about 2 mm in fact, and is a collection of densely packed collagen fibres that wrap, divide and hold every single one of your muscles, bones, nerves, blood vessels and organs. Every single bit of you is wrapped and encased in this ‘stocking’. Fascia protects, connects and keeps you in a shape recognized as human.

Why didn't anyone mention FASCIA earlier? 

Not many people know too much about it. It’s hard to study and messy. It's so expensive and intertwined it resists the medical standard of being cut up and named for textbook illustrations. In fact, the convention in med-school dissections has been to remove as much of the fascia as possible in order to see what was underneath, the important stuff. That framed illustration hanging in your doctor's office of the red-muscled, wide-eyed human body is a body with its fascia cut away; it's not what you look like inside, but it's a lot neater and easier to study and it's the way doctors have long been taught to look at you. For the majority of medical history it's been assumed that bones were our frame, muscles the motor, and fascia just packaging. Until recently, that is.

What exactly does it do? 

Fascia function is tricky, more subtle than the function of other systems which are more specific. Fascia is strong, slippery and wet. It wraps around each of your individual internal parts, keeping them separate and allowing them to slide easily with your movements. It creates a sheath around each muscle; because it's stiffer, it resists over-stretching and acts like an anatomical emergency break. It connects your organs to your ribs to your muscles and all your bones to each other. It structures your insides in a feat of engineering, balancing stressors and counter-stressors to create a mobile, flexible and resilient body unit. It generally keeps you from being a big, bone-filled blob. As Tom Myers, author of the acclaimed book Anatomy Trains described in an article for Runners World ‘While every anatomy lists around 600 separate muscles, it is more accurate to say there is one muscle poured into 600 pockets of fascia ‘.

Causes of FASCIA dysfunction

Fascia is meant to be strong and flexible however there are many reasons for it to lose its potential.

  • Physical trauma, like a fall or a car accident
  • Poor posture
  • Repetitive movement
  • Work and Sport injury
  • Prolonged periods of sitting or standing
  • Emotional and mental stress
  • Conditions caused by tight FASCIA 

Many common conditions can be as a result caused by tight and inflexible fascia. For in depth detail on Fascia and conditions attributed to it I’d recommend you visit Fascia science made simple  

Most commonly in my clinic I see poor Fascia integrity causing my clients a range of signs and symptom.

  • Chronic pain (often undiagnosed pain)
  • Headaches
  • Muscle pain and spasms
  • Chronic back and neck pain
  • Recurring injuries
  • Sciatica
  • Breathing difficulties
  • Sensations such as numbness and pins and needles
  • Poor posture and reduced flexibility

In my next post I will address and show you how to release your own Fascia. Often it requires only a few simple techniques to allow the Fascia to return to its potential.

Until then I wish you the much happiness and health.

Wishing you great health and much happiness,

Important: This article is general advice only. For further advice or information on this topic, please consult your health professional.
Category: Fitness

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