Fascia And Fascia System

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Fascia And Fascia System
Fascia And Fascia System
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Fascia and fascia system

Fascia is a two-dimensional structure made of moderately shaped connective tissue. It consists of collagen fibers, elastic fibers, reticular fibers and connective tissue cells that are arranged in different densities and run through the body like a mesh. Fasciae have various functions: They surround bones, muscles, tendons and ligaments of the musculoskeletal system, connect areas of the musculoskeletal system that belong together - so-called muscle boxes or compartments - and support the transmission of force during movements. Fasciae also enclose internal organs, vessels and nerve conduits and play a role in the transmission of nerve stimuli, e.g. proprioception or biochemical or immunological information in the body.


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  • What fascia are there?
  • What are the tasks of fasciae?
  • What role do fascia play in diseases of the musculoskeletal system?

In medicine, ligaments, strands or plates of connective tissue were originally called fascia. Today science also uses the broader term fascia system. This describes a three-dimensional network of soft, collagen-containing, loose and dense fibers of the connective tissue.

What fascia are there?

A fascia contains interwoven bundles of collagen fibers. Depending on its location and function, the fascia tissue has a different density and is therefore more flexible or more rigid. The collagen fibers are also aligned differently. An irregular fiber network gives mobility and strength in all directions. On the other hand, a parallel arrangement of the fibers offers a particularly high tensile strength, but only in one specific direction.

The fibers of the fascia form a continuous tissue structure in the body. Fascia can be divided into layers, which are not clearly delimited, but merge into one another. Between some layers there are liquid-filled sliding or sliding layers to support mobility.

  • The superficial fascia (Fascia superficialis) as the outermost layer under the skin consists predominantly of loose connective tissue and fat. It surrounds the entire trunk and extremities. This fascia layer has to be very mobile and contains fewer collagen fibers compared to other fascia layers.
  • The deep fascia or trunk fascia (Fascia profunda) envelops muscles, tendons and ligaments and muscle groups. Your tissue contains dense, braided bundles of collagen fibers. When the muscles move, the fascia takes over part of the power transmission, even to more distant areas. The trunk fascia continues in the extremities (arms, legs).
  • The menigeal fascia fills, fixes and protects nerve fibers and nerve fiber bundles.
  • The layer of the visceral fascia surrounds the body cavities with their organs, such as the chest, pericardium, abdomen or pelvis. In this fascia layer, vascular and nerve cords run to organs.

The various layers merge seamlessly into other forms of connective and supporting tissue, e.g. tendons, ligaments and joint capsules, fiber cartilage, as well as connective tissue within muscles, around muscle fibers, etc. In their entirety, they are viewed as a functional fascia system.

What are the tasks of fasciae?

  • Fascia play an important role in the musculoskeletal system in the transmission of force. Movements are transmitted not only from muscles, ligaments and tendons, but also from the surrounding fascia. When moving, different muscles work together as motor units. The tensile forces of these motor units are transferred to a network of fascia cords and thus converted into body movement. In this way, movement stimuli and tensions (stretching stimuli) also reach areas in the body that are further away.
  • When a muscle contracts, fasciae provide rebound. Within the muscles, the muscle fibers (muscle fiber cells, myoctes) are surrounded by intramuscular connective tissue (endomysium). This connective tissue also plays a role in the transmission of muscle power.
  • Fascia surround muscles, bones, organs, vascular and nerve lines. They have a supporting and protective function and serve as a sliding and sliding layer.
  • Receptors in the fascia tissue play a key role in the perception of stimuli and in the transmission of sensitive signals for the alignment and movement of the body (proprioception).
  • Fascia also likely have other important functions for the body, such as transmitting cell signals.

The fascia system is described in research as a functional structure of the body - an environment that enables all body systems to work together in a finely tuned way.

What role do fascia play in diseases of the musculoskeletal system?

The composition and nature of fasciae can change. The strength of the connective tissue or the mobility of the fascia layers can increase or decrease in certain areas. The changes are also influenced by metabolic processes in the connective tissue cells.

Functional disorders of the fasciae can lead to local hardening, which also restricts movement.

They can play a role in causing pain, even in distant areas. For example, the capsule of the knee joint is not only connected to the adjacent ligaments but also to more distant structures, such as the gluteus maximus and its surrounding fasciae.

Possible causes that lead to changes in the fascia tissue are, for example, overloads in the musculoskeletal system, certain movement or tension stimuli, aging processes, medication, inflammatory processes, injuries, etc.

The exact structure and functions of the fascia and the connections of the fascia system are the subject of in-depth research.

The methods of fascia therapy include, for example, manual therapies (e.g. trigger point therapy, Rolfing), acupuncture or infiltrations. There is mainly clinical experience with the effectiveness of the therapy, but only a few evidence-based research results.

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