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The Missing Link for Chronic Pain and Injuries

Swimming, rolfing, fasciaAfter 35 years of practice, I still see clients who aren’t told their fascial adhesions are the cause of their chronic pain and injuries. Lingering pain in your back, plantar fascia or IT band are a few examples of fascial adhesions.

Fascia is a web of collagen (connective tissue) fibers that surround and penetrate every muscle and organ of the body.

Fascia binds everything together – it’s the web that attaches and supports every structure of your body. New research coming out of the International Facial Research Congresses, at places such as the Harvard Medical School, shows that fascia contracts and feels. With injury (trauma) and stress (repetitive micro-traumas) the fluid and flexible fascia dehydrates, glues itself together, shortens and thickens. What was like slippery Spandex becomes stuck shoe leather.

What You Can Do

Once your fascial suit shrinks, it is as if your skeleton is moving in a suit that’s a size too small. Inevitably, particular parts will be subjected to unintended wear and tear. Eventually symptoms, then injuries, appear. Rarely is the cause of the pain at the site of the pain. The cause is the pull on the fascial sheets causing the painful areas to take the strain.

It’s natural to want to treat the area where the pain is. Often there is an immediate improvement, but when the pain returns, it tells you that the cause is likely some other area(s). Even though the pain or the awareness is new, chances are that the fascial tension evolved over years. Unfortunately, one yoga class or massage is not going to release the chronic fascial adhesions.

You must release and organize the fascial system. Releasing is slowly dissolving the fascial adhesions bringing back normal movement and circulations. It is applying pressure on the tissue and letting it release at its own pace. The pressure can come from a foam roller or a hand.

If the change is to last, the misalignment needs to be corrected. If your leg is turned out, you will continue to torque your knee. Returning the body to its natural alignment is an order of magnitude beyond releasing. Proper alignment prevents the return of the strain pattern. Organizing a body around gravity and natural movement patterns will also improve performance.

The good news is fascia can change and heal itself. Once the body is more integrated, it is easy to keep the change. Runner’s World has an excellent article on fascia. My new book, The Power of Rolfing, will be out soon.

Owen Marcus, MA, Certified Advanced Rolfer, www.align.org – call if you have questions: 265.8440. This article and many more health and wellness articles are at the blog: www.sandpointwellnesscouncil.com.

 

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