When you are thinking about your body and health does fascia come to mind? It should. In 2018, a study by CDC showed that 50 million Americans (20% of the countries population) suffers from chronic pain.
If you’re not feeling like yourself or have unexplained pain, your fascia could be a cause.
Fascia connects all tissues beneath the skin including muscles, bones, tendons, ligaments, and blood and holds together your entire body. There are four kinds of fascia: structural, intersectoral, visceral, and spinal. Healthy fascia will glide, it’s flexible and supple. When it is unhealthy it is sticky, clumpy, flaky and tight which can cause adhesions, muscle knots, and restrictions. Think of healthy fascia like a wet sponge. When it’s wet it is bouncy and resilient but when it’s dry, it can be brittle and hard.
Having unhealthy fascia can cause poor posture, lack of strength, poor mobility, feelings of discomfort and injury. One common form of unhealthy fascia is plantar fasciitis. One in ten people will experience this during their lifetime. This affects the connective tissue on the arch of the foot.
Studies show that practicing healthy habits will keep your fascia healthier. As if you needed another reason to focus on your mental and physical health but here are some poor health choices that can lead to unhealthy fascia: sedentary lifestyle, poor posture, dehydration, unhealthy eating habits, stress and poor sleep. All these things dehydrate the fascia making it stiff and flaky.
So what can you do to avoid that? Staying active is the most important. Choosing activites that vary in tempo and also movements. This will decrease your chances of injury and also keep your fascia hydrated. Doing the same actions everyday (such as running) will not only be rubbing the same joints but “wringing” out your fascia. This is true with lifting heavy as well. When you are lifting heavy continuously, you are driving out the water.
Resting is a way for your tissue to rehydrate. This also prevents injury and gives your muscles a day to recuperate. Drinking enough water will also keep your fascia hydrated and flushes out toxins.
Stress free activities also help. Find things that will relax your nervous system. Meditation, yoga, cycling, running, reading or get a massage. By calming your nervous system you are creating a happy body and healthy fascia. Eating healthy and fueling your body with fruits, vegetables and proteins is a go. The benefits of taking care of your body and fascia will be less day-to-day pain, scar tissue breakdown, improved body alignment, reduced risk of injury and increased blood flow.
The bottom line is that no one likes to have unexplained pain. Take care of your body and it will take care of you. All of the above actions will also help with maintaining a healthy weight, helping your mental health and improving longevity of your life.
Do something to move your body today and improve your fascia healthy.