Fascinating Fascia

fasciaWhat is Fascia?
Fascia is tough connective tissue that creates a 3-dimensional web extending without interruption from head to toe. Fascia surrounds and infuses every muscle, bone, nerve, blood vessel, and organ, all the way down to the cellular level.

The fascial system affects every system and function in your body- musculoskeletal, neurological, metabolic, etc. The white, glistening fibers you see when you pull a piece of meat apart or when you pull chicken skin away is fascia.

What is Fascia made of?
Fascia consists of a complex which has three parts:
1. Elastin fibers – This is the elastic and stretchable part of the complex.

2. Collagen fibers – These fibers are extremely tough and give support to the
structure.

3. Ground substance/matrix: A gelatinous like substance that transports metabolic
material throughout the body

What does fascia do?
The fascial system generally supports, stabilizes, and cushions. Fascia creates separation between vessels, organs, bones, and muscles. It creates space through which delicate nerves, blood vessels, and fluids can pass.

What are Fascial Restrictions?
In a healthy state, the collagen fibers wrap around the elastic fibers in a relaxed, wavy configuration. Trauma, repetitive motion, inflammation, or poor posture can cause the fascia to become solidified and shortened. These thickened areas are referred to as a fascial restriction. Fascial restrictions have the capacity of creating up to 2,000 pounds of pressure per square inch in a restricted area. That crushing pressure can compromise any physiological system in the body resulting in pain and dysfunction.

The fascia throughout the body is all interconnected like the yarn in a sweater or a complex spider web. A restriction in one area of the body creates tension throughout this web pulling on other distant structures. This explains why some people may have pain that appears unrelated to their original injury. Furthermore, myofascial restrictions do not show up on common standardized tests such as x-rays, MRI, CAT scans, etc.

Fascial restrictions can pull the body out of its normal alignment, compressing joint surfaces and bulging disks, resulting in pain, loss of motion, and weakness.

 

Info collected from Spine – Health, Mayo Clinic, NIH & Medterms
Art by Dan Beckemeyer
Published on Facebook by Anatomy in Motion www.mografi.com/anatomyinmotion/

About your Spine…

Spine stretchingDid You Know:
The dynamics and supportive properties of the human spine are provided by:

• an intricate network of blood vessels

• countless specialized nerve endings

• hundreds of small nerve fibers which connect to structures of the spine

• more than 220 specialized ligaments

• greater than 120 individual muscles

• over 100 intricate joints

• 34 vertebrae

• 24 presacral vertebrae (movable)

• 5 sacral and 3-5 coccygeal vertebrae (non-moveable)

• 31 pairs of spinal nerves

• 23 intervertebral discs

The human spinal column provides flexibility for movement, support for weight bearing and protection of nerve fibers. The spinal column surrounds and protects the spinal cord, which is the main pathway of communication between the brain and the rest of the body. The spinal column also protects the nerve roots and part of the autonomic nervous system.

The spine has three major types of joints:
• synarthroses
• diarthroses
• amphiarthroses

The vertebral column consists of 24 presacral (moveable) vertebrae
• 7 cervical vertebrae
• 12 thoracic vertebrae
• 5 lumbar vertebrae

The sacrum and coccyx are composed of fused vertebrae and are also considered part of the spinal column.

The cervical vertebrae are the most mobile of the 24 presacral spinal vertebrae.

The 12 thoracic vertebrae articulate with 12 pair of ribs. The thoracic spine is designed for a minimum of movement, thus providing protection for the internal organs.

The large stocky lumbar vertebrae are designed to support the weight of the body

Info By American Academy of Spine Physicians
Art by Andrea Schillaci
Originally posted by Anatomy in Motion http://www.mografi.com/anatomyinmotion/

2012 – Summer of discontent for backs!

2012 – Summer of discontent for backs!

As the nation settles in to watch the Olympic games, there has never been a better excuse to be a couch potato.

But beware – too much sitting, and in particular too much sitting in the wrong position, can lead to a whole host of back and neck problems.  In fact, the British Osteopathic Association (BOA) is anticipating a significant rise in back strain injuries because slouching on the sofa for lengthy periods of time can increase pressure on a person’s back and spine by 120 per cent.

“Britain will soon have every excuse to loll around on the sofa for hours on end as the summer progresses. However, sitting for lengthy periods of time puts too much strain on the spine and vertebrae and causes a lot of muscle fatigue and joint strain.

“If you’ve been sitting still for any length of time and then you suddenly become active, for example leaping out of your chair to celebrate a win, you are literally using muscles which have ‘gone to sleep’. This can leave you susceptible to joint stiffness and muscle tightness later on if you continue to repeat this activity.”

To take pressure off your back, Wiltshire Osteopathy advises getting up and walking about the room every 20 minutes or so. Using a straight-backed dining chair instead of the sofa can be beneficial too but if you prefer the couch, support your back properly with a cushion or two. Also, if you sit on a cushion so it raises you up slightly, this will place less strain on your back.

Symptoms that can arise from too much lounging on the sofa:

  • Back pain
  • Neck pain
  • Headaches
  • Eye Strain
  • Muscle fatigue, cramps and stiffness
  • Muscle strain
  • Sluggish Bowels
  • Poor circulation

Tips for avoiding back pain whilst watching TV:

  • Don’t put your drink on the table behind you – you’re at risk of straining yourself when you turn to get it.
  • Do sit straight in front of the TV – if you are off to one side you’ll be twisted and this might cause you pain.
  • Get up regularly, walk around and get a breath of fresh air when the advert breaks come on – use sky plus if you have it, press pause and have a rest.
  • Make sure your spine is supported properly – if your sofa is too soft, change it now if you plan to spend a lot of time on it.
  • Flat screen TV’s are usually mounted in a high position these days – it should be in the right eye line to reduce risks to neck strain, headaches, eye strain and back strain.