We often hear people talking about how tight their muscles are – especially large muscles like the quad or hamstrings. But sometimes, it’s not actually the muscles that a tight, but another very important and much overlooked element – the fascia.
The fascia is a web of connective tissue that covers the whole body. It connects that skin to the muscles and tendons underneath, and provides support and protection for the soft tissue of muscles, as well as internal organs.
If you think of your body a little like an orange, the juicy flesh is the muscles and organs, and the skin is the bright peel. In between there is a pulpy white substance that connects the two. This is the equivalent of the fascia.
In connecting the skin with the internal parts of the body, it is important that the fascia remains healthy and mobile. It needs to ‘glide and slide’ between the skin and the internal systems in order for the body to move smoothly and without pain.
Often, when people feel their muscles are tight, it is not actually the muscles, but the fascia, which is not gliding and sliding as it should. There are many reasons for this. Perhaps most common is the formation of scar tissue or adhesions, which is less elastic than normal fascial tissue, causing the fascia to ‘catch’ and restrict movement. These adhesions can also restrict blood flow and impinge nerves, causing reduced supply of oxygen and pain.
One of the best ways to ensure the fascia remains supple and mobile is through massage. In addition to traditional Remedial and Swedish massage, one of the techniques we use at Precision Health Spine & Sport Clinic is Instrument Assisted Soft Tissue Manipulation. The use of these tools allows the massage therapist to work very precisely in targeting scar tissue and adhesions in the fascia. Blood flow is increased, which promotes healing, and scar tissue begins to break down.
The instruments we use for Instrument Assisted Soft Tissue Manipulation to Precision Health Spine & Sports Clinic are known as SMART Tools. These highly precise tools have been designed by specialists and use cutting edge technology and materials to provide both the practitioner and patient with the best possible experience.
By ensuring your fascia is healthy and mobile, you will often find you will reduce the feeling of ‘tightness’ that in the past you may have felt was muscle tightness.
If you sometimes feel ‘tight’ or think you have problems with your fascial movement, call our Baulkham Hills Clinic on 9639 7337 to make an appointment with our specialist Massage Therapists today.