Every body structure is wrapped in connective tissue, or fascia, creating a structural continuity that gives form and function to every tissue and organ. Currently, there is still little information on the functions and interactions between the fascial continuum and the body system; unfortunately, in medical literature there are few texts explaining how fascial stasis or altered movement of the various connective layers can generate a clinical problem. Certainly, the fascia plays a significant role in conveying mechanical tension, in order to control an inflammatory environment. The fascial continuum is essential for transmitting muscle force, for correct motor coordination, and for preserving the organs in their site; the fascia is a vital instrument that enables the individual to communicate and live independently. This article considers what the literature offers on symptoms related to the fascial system, trying to connect the existing information on the continuity of the connective tissue and symptoms that are not always clearly defined. In our opinion, knowing and understanding this complex system of fascial layers is essential for the clinician and other health practitioners in finding the best treatment strategy for the patient.”
By Bruno Bordoni and Emiliano Zanier
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” 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