As Runners, Muscle Pain Actually Might Be Caused By Our Fascia
What is Fascia?
Fascia is a surface of stringy connective tissue that surrounds every part of our body. It provides support to our muscles, tendons, ligaments, tissues, organs, nerves, blood vessels, joints and bones. When our fascia is healthy, it is flexible and stretches with us. When our fascia tightens up, it can restrict movement and cause painful health conditions.
Although fascia looks like one sheet of tissue, it’s actually made up of multiple layers with liquid in between called hyaluronan. It is designed to stretch as we move. But there are certain things that cause fascia to thicken and become tight and sticky. When it dries up and tightens around our muscles, it can reduce mobility and cause painful knots to develop.
Our fascial system runs through our body. The term refers to the interconnected sheets of tissue that join, stabilize, and protect our muscles and organs. These sheets of tissue are called fascia.
Basically, it holds everything together in our body, so it’s pretty important to have good fascia. When our fascia is healthy, we enjoy greater strength, flexibility, and balance. When it is ignored or not treated well, it causes some muscle pain when we run, we start to lose mobility and overall athletic performance.
Recommendations to work effectively, all fascial tissue needs to be flexible, resilient and strong enough to support our running form, movement patterns in all directions.
Facts About Fascia
Fascia connects all connective tissues (that means the muscles, bones, tendons, ligaments, and blood)
Fascia holds together the entire body.
There are four different kinds of fascia that are all connected- structural, intersectoral, visceral, and spinal.
When it is healthy, it is flexible, stretchy, and it will glide.
Factors that cause unhealthy fascia to become sticky and squeezy
Overusing or injuring your muscles
Unhealthy eating habits
Poor sleep quality
Benefits of Keeping Fascia Healthy
Improved body symmetry and alignment
Increased blood flow, which means faster run and exercise recovery
Reduced appearance of stretch marks and cellulite
Scar tissue breakdown
Reduced risk of injury
Less day-to-day pain
Improved sports performance
How to Keep Fascia Flexible
Keeping our fascia healthy has many benefits. We will move and run more easily, have better range of motion and feel less pain.
Things we can do to prevent fascia issues include:
1. Moving more: In addition to a consistent but varied exercise routine, it is important to be active throughout the day. If we have a desk type work, we need to take at least a few minutes break every hour to stand up and move around, which helps fascia stay more flexible. Consider walking meetings or stand up and walk while participating in conference calls.
2. Stretching regularly: Stretching is essential for good health. It reduces the risk of inflammation and structural problems in the body.
3. Focusing on posture: Slouching over a desk, phone, walking or forward lean running form can be awkward to compensate for an injury which can cause fascia to tighten. We should focus to maintain a good posture while sitting, standing and running.
Best Fascia Flexibility Stretches
Adding these movements into our warm-up or cool-down can help prevent injury, correct movement inefficiencies and give us more power in our run or other training activities.
Hold each stretch for 60 seconds and repeat on both sides.
Perform Good Fascia Stretches, Support Your Muscles, Joints And Overall Body Health, Enjoy Nice Great Runs!