Most of the pain we suffer from, difficulty in mobility and stiffness, are usually intuitively attributed to our muscles, bones or joints.
However, many times, these discomforts can be triggered by injury or inflammation of a component of our body that we may not have even heard of: the fascia.
Commonly, it was given a very secondary role, but in recent years it has begun to gain prominence, due to the fact that fascia is a type of connective tissue with a mainly fibrous and strong appearance that covers all body structures such as muscles, bones, viscera, vessels, nerves, continuously and uninterrupted. It has several functions, but mainly it is responsible for giving shape, support, and protection to these structures and acts as a membrane allowing the exchange of substances between them.
It is extended throughout the length, width and depth of our body, with both anatomical and functional continuity. The constituent multiple layers with liquids between them, although its appearance is sheet or membrane.
These layers must slide between each other in a smooth and fluid way, facilitating the mobility of the organism, for this purpose, our body naturally counts on the intervention of a “lubricant”; the well-known hyaluronic acid or hyaluronate; whose lubricating action and consistency depend on the availability of water in its environment. When you have water, hyaluronic acid binds to the liquid element and is less viscous, allowing proper change. In its absence, a hyaluronate macromolecule is generated, which increases the viscosity and ends up forming a point of densification and subsequent fibrosis.
At the same time, several studies will point out that the fascia is a highly innervated tissue, even more so than the skin. It mainly has receptors for pain and movement, which can be found in the tissue in its entirety.
Healthy fascia is flexible, soft, and facilitates optimal, fluid, and efficient movement. However, when a point of densification and fibrosis occurs, the increase in tension in that area is transmitted to other places due to its anatomical continuity. Together, said tension can affect the functioning of the nerve receptors, causing the emission of pain signals due to the changes generated in the tissue, either in the area itself involved or reflected at a distal level.
If the deficiency continues, the body will compensate to avoid the sensation of pain and recover movement in the affected area, thus appearing other areas of tension, compromising other body structures, destabilizing the mobility of the joints, the postural structure and some organic functions. . Affectation that, with time and its constant reappearance, can become a chronic condition.
The main causes of densification and fibrosis of the fascial tissue are:
- Sedentary lifestyle.
- Poor postural hygiene.
- Activities that require repetitive movements.
- Long working hours without active breaks.
- Traumatic injuries, surgeries.
To differentiate whether the discomfort really comes from the fascial, joint, or muscular tissue, it is important to know that if the deficiency is generated at the muscular or joint level, the pain increases significantly during movement or activity, the opposite occurs with fascial tissue tensions. They improve with movement.
These discomforts can be avoided by performing regular activities, physical activity, stretching exercises and avoiding sedentary activities for long periods of time. It is common to experience these types of problems from time to time. However, it is necessary to go to a medical consultation in case of presenting recurrent and intense discomfort, and if a physiotherapeutic intervention is necessary.
Published by Emirates Herald, news and information agency.