Fascia is a web-like system of connective tissue that spans throughout your entire body. It wraps around and compartmentalizes each of your individual internal body parts…muscles, organs, bones, nerves, blood vessels, and even cells. It provides support, protection, and is involved in every movement you make and every injury you have ever had. So obviously maintaining a healthy fascia is of vital importance!
When fascia is healthy, it is smooth and slides freely, which allows for easy, unrestricted movement. Unfortunately, just like your muscles, fascia can get tight! Many things can lead to this tightness including a lack of activity of an area of your body that can ‘lock down’ and become almost cement-like. A good example of this would be after arm surgery. Most often post-op, the arm must be held in a sling and cannot move for an extended period of time. Fibers of fascia are continuously laid down in this area of injury and once the area has healed enough so that movement can occur, it is sometimes too tight and painful for the person to move it. This means the fascia has become restricted. This particular condition is called “frozen shoulder,” but it can happen anywhere in the body if we restrict movement.
A massage therapist can reduce these restrictions by stretching the fascia, allowing the tissues and joints to move better.
Overuse, repetitive motions, and chronic stress can also cause tightness in fascia, which can be painful and tough to get rid of. Trauma, such as a car accident injury, causes these fibrous tissues to increase in order to protect the area. It can take awhile for these restrictions to be worked through with treatment because it is the bodies job to protect our vital structures. In a traumatic event, the body will do whatever it can in order to prevent the injury to happen again.
Through daily life – and injuries – we are going to develop these restrictions in our fascia; it’s inevitable. Try these Tips on Maintaining a Healthy Fascia:
- MOVE! Sitting or standing for prolonged periods can allow adhesions to form. When you wake up in the morning, roll around a little in bed and really stretching your body out. If you sit at work, walk around and stretch regularly.
- Stay hydrated. Just like everything else in our body, fascia moves and works better when it is wet (okay, this is really oversimplifying, but you get the point), so drink plenty of water throughout the day.
- Stretch…pretty self explanatory, this one.
- Get a massage! An experienced massage therapist can help stretch you fascia back into a more fluid state.
If you are experiencing chronic tightness due to a sedentary lifestyle, stress, or injury, call Jennifer Madison Massage Therapy online or call (518) 744-2315. I am a Glens Falls NY massage therapist serving Saratoga, Lake George, and Hudson Falls areas. I treat numerous clients suffering from chronic conditions and temporary ailments. Read my testimonials!
Please feel free to ask me about the benefits of massage therapy! You can also order gift certificates for massages in Glens Falls.