Barbie Clemons
Professional Massage Therapy

What is so FASCIA-nating about Fascia?


As it turns out, this fascia system plays a hugely crucial role in the way your body functions, moves, and maintains its shape.  
Read below to learn more about the Tissue Around Your Muscles AND How Does Fascia Cause Pain?

“We thought fascia was nothing, but now we know that it is everything.”
–Jean Claude Guimberteau, MD

Fascia is a single, seamless mesh that spans the entire body, allowing for connection and communication between all its various parts.

It’s made up of fibrous glycoproteins that surround and permeate every muscle, bone, nerve, tendon, ligament and organ in the body. These fibers are organized in different directions, creating a web-like covering that can adapt to the body’s movement, no matter which way it’s being pulled.

It’s also responsible for maintaining structural integrity – holding everything together – and allowing for coordinated movement, flexibility, and stability.

In other words, think of your fascia like a spandex bodysuit that you wear under instead of over your skin.

Some fascia is thin, like the pericardium surrounding the heart, and some is thick, like the tough iliotibial (IT) band, that runs down along the side of your thighs.

Without fascia holding everything in place, fluid would gather at your feet, your organs would be loose and float around freely, and your muscles would literally fall apart as soon as you tried to use them.

(I think this is so interesting)

Fascia is also the body’s richest sensory organ.  Your fascia has 250 million nerve endings for pain, temperature, and movement, providing our bodies with more sensory feedback than even our eyes and skin.  It has 10 times as many sensory receptors as our muscles do, and much of the pain and soreness we blame on muscles actually comes from the surrounding fascia.

Let’s return to the idea of fascia as a spandex bodysuit you wear 24/7.  Like spandex, healthy fascia is smooth, slippery, and flexible.  But there are certain things that can lead to inflammation in fascial tissue and cause it to become stiff and sticky.

These factors include a lifestyle of limited physical activity, joint misalignment and dysfunction, repetitive movement that overworks one part of the body, and trauma from surgery or injury.  Your body then tends to repair the damage to the fascia by rebuilding it with poorly organized scar tissue.

With a spandex bodysuit, you can patch up a tear in the fabric, but it won’t stretch and move like it did when it was new.  And because it’s one big, interconnected suit, it’ll probably cause abnormal pulling and tugging at other spots as well.
In the same way, when fascia is restricted or stuck in one area, it can create tension and pain throughout the rest of the body. For example, if you walk with an anteriorly tilted pelvis or tend to over-pronate your feet, it can tug at fascia surrounding your lumbar spine and cause pain and tightness in your lower back.

This is why fascia plays a key role in conditions like chronic lower back pain, pelvic pain, fibromyalgia, headaches, and even some breathing and cardiovascular disorders. By releasing the tension in the fascia that’s stuck, the body can regain its natural alignment and movement.


Determining whether your pain is due to muscles, joints or fascia can be challenging. But typically, if your pain stems from muscle or joint issues, it tends to intensify with physical activity. Conversely, discomfort associated with fascia problems tends to subside with movement and also tends to respond well with heat therapy (unlike joint issues), which restores the tissue’s flexibility.

There’s no one-size-fits-all solution for fixing fascia, as each person’s body is unique and responds differently to various techniques. When it comes to fascia correction, the best approach may be a combination of methods, tailored to the individual’s needs.

CREDIT; Some of this information was provided by Dr. Grant Radermacher. A Brookfield, WI chiropractor providing unmatched results through gentle, evidence-based chiropractic care.