Myofascial tightness reduces the strength of muscle.


What is fascia?

muscle_anatomy (1)

Fascia is a seamless web of connective tissue found throughout the body. It wraps around every muscle, bone, organ, nerve and blood vessel and holds the body together. It creates a three-dimensional web of support that facilitates – or inhibits – our ability to function and move. Thickened areas of fascia transmit strain in many directions and make their influence felt at distant points, much like a snag in a sweater distorts the entire sweater.  The fascial system responds to injury, chronic tension and habitual movement patterns by shortening from both the forces of gravity and the mechanical forces of repetitive movement patterns  fascia11

What is Myofascia?

fascia_muscle

Fascia or myofascia is the dense, tough tissue which surrounds and covers all of your muscles and bones. This outer fascial covering is very strong and very flexible. In fact, it has a tensile strength of over 2000 pounds.

Under a microscope, myofascia resembles a spider web or fish net. It is very organized and very flexible in a healthy state. myofascia can best be described as a complete body suit which runs from the top of your head down to the bottom of your toes. It is continuous, has no beginning or end and can be found almost everywhere in your body. Like yarn in a sweater the entire body is connected to every other part of the body by the fascia. It is a continuous weave of material. And, like a pull in a sweater, damage to an area of fascia can effect other distant areas in your body even years later.

art_myofascial_release2

In the normal healthy state the fascia is relaxed and soft. It has the ability to stretch and move without restriction. When you experience physical trauma or inflammation the fascia loses its pliability. It can become tight, restricted and a source of tension throughout the rest of the body. Trauma such as a fall, whiplash, surgery or habitual poor posture has a cumulative effect over time and myofascial release can help.

In a healthy body fascia helps to maintain good posture, range of motion and flexibility. It also gives our bodies tremendous strength and helps us deal with stress and injuries.

A example of fascia would be when you remove the skin from a chicken breast, that white filmy tissue underneath the skin is fascia, and in a living state is very strong.
To summarize, fascia is like a superficial body suit which allows us to move freely, breath properly and perform our daily tasks pain-free. It spans the whole body and is totally connected as one piece of material. It is called “the tissue of movement”.  And one of the more effective treatments is Myofascial Release.

Mechanism of reduction of strength 

A muscle is enclosed in the fascia. Myofascial tightness not only leads to pain but it also reduces the strength of the muscles. In normal scenario, when  muscles contract in the envelop of myofascia there expansion of of width of muscle and fascia. Tightness of myofascia restrict the muscles play and movement of muscles, this affects the sliding of Actin and myosin filaments and walk along theory.  This affection on contraction mechanism of muscle causes myofascial trigger points and directly  effect strength of muscle.

So myofascial release will also helps in improving strength of muscle along with pain modulation.

References

What is fascia? http://integrationathletics.com/?page_id=313

Muscle Anatomy & Structure. http://www.sport-fitness-advisor.com/muscle-anatomy.html

What is Myofascia? http://jenings.com/what-is-fascia.html

Myofascial Release Therapy. http://physiorehab.in/article-myofascial-release-therapy/

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