A COMMONLY OVERLOOKED CAUSE OF CHRONIC PAIN
- SUPERFICIAL FASCIA: This is the fascial layer lying directly underneath the skin (HERE) that contains both Connective Tissue and fat.
- DEEP FASCIA: The Deep Fascia (sometimes referred to as 'Investing Fascia') surrounds your organs as well as muscles, dividing muscles into compartments. Deep Fascia is the tissue that ALLOWS COMMUNICATION with other tissues, sort of like having an extra nervous system. It also provides support, kind of like a spring-loaded skeletal system (HERE). It is the covering for any number of tissues, which are named by their location.
FASCIA THAT COVERS CARTILAGE: Perichondrium
FASCIA THAT COVERS BLOOD VESSELS: Tunica Externa
FASCIA THAT COVERS MUSCLE TISSUE: Epimysium, Perimysium, and Endomysium
FASCIA THAT COVERS NERVE TISSUE: Epineurium, Perineurium, and Endoneurium
Believe me when I tell you that I barely scratched the surface (HERE). As you should be starting to see, Fascia is continuous. In other words, it is a membrane that winds its way through your entire body as it surrounds and supports any number of individual tissues. Not surprisingly, it is the most abundant connective tissue in the body.
Why is it the Fascia around the muscles that is so commonly injured? For one, it is an extremely external tissue. As I have told you before, one of the ways to cause the Fascial Adhesions that I refer to as "SCAR TISSUE" is to bang or hit a body part hard (HERE). What is far more common is overstretching or tearing type injuries --- think MVA's, SPORTS INJURIES, or CONCUSSIONS here --- which can result in this same microscopic Scar Tissue. But it's the chronic overuse type of injuries that are probably the most common.
Chronic, repetitive actions can lead to a build up of this Scar Tissue (some say that it is not really a Scar Tissue per se, but a "DENSIFICATION" of the fascia). I frankly don't care if you call it banana boat, it's dealt with in the SAME FASHION. This might be a great time to also mention that STUDY after STUDY after STUDY has shown us that INFLAMMATION always leads to Scar Tissue. Another reason that you need to understand THIS POST.
External "Deep Fascia" around the muscles is prone to injury not only because its external or superficial nature leaves it vulnerable to getting hit, but because it is vulnerable to tremendous torquing or shearing forces. Think of it in terms of what happens on a merry-go-round. If you are standing in the center of a merry-go-round that is being pushed intensely, there's very little force on you. However, move out to the outer or more external edge of these playground staples of a bygone era, and it's all you can do to hold on tight enough to keep yourself from flying off onto the ground.
Regardless of how the adhesion of the Fascia occurs, here's the dilemma. The single most pain-sensitive tissue in your body CANNOT BE IMAGED via standard tests such as MRI. What does this mean to you? It means that even though you might be struggling with any number of CHRONIC PAIN SYNDROMES, don't be surprised if there's nothing to show for it as far as positive medical tests. Because of this, it is likely that you will be treated as a drug-seeker --- or simply prescribed "THE BIG FIVE" and essentially told that there is nothing more that can be done for you other than pain management. Or maybe you'll be sent to a specialist who will do the same things. Because I HAVE LIVED IT MYSELF, I feel for those of you struggling with Chronic Pain. If you think your pain might be the result of Fascial Adhesions, you've got NOTHING TO LOSE BY SEEING IF TISSUE REMODELING COULD HELP YOU.