” As in all connective tissue, the functional components of fascia include the mesenchymal cells (fibroblasts, mast cells, and macrophages) and the extracellular substances (collagen, reticulum, elastic fibres, and ground substance ).
The superficial structural role of this tissue has long been recognized, but its other biophysical characteristics and functions have begun to undergo clarification only since the relatively recent identification and description of the cellular and extracellular components.
Structurally, fascia acts as a restraining mechanism enclosing the muscle fibres, holding tendons in position as they cross articulations, and generally strenghtening the joint structure.
[These] stress bands are found in many areas along the lines of average strain patterns.
At many bones proeminences which have become tension or traction areas because of abnormal amounts of directions of associated strain, especially shortened and thickened development of connective tissue is found.
Restriction in joint motion may be due primarily to fascial thickening, with reduction in elasticity, or shortening. In many cases there is a combination of the two, and in such instances the fascial changes may be the result of either structural or functional stress in the musculoskeletal system. ”
From HOAG, COLE, BRADFORD
Edition MC GRAW-HILL
Chapter Disorders of the Musculoskeletal System