Four Clues You Have Fibrotic Restricted Fascia
The SCAR TISSUE widely known as FIBROSIS within the medical community is so ubiquitous in our society that besides being a top cause of CHRONIC PAIN, it also happens to be our nation’s number one leading cause of death (HERE). Just remember that much of the time, this tissue adhesion comes in a form that is a bit more subtle (HERE). Either way, dysfunctional soft tissues can be disruptive and life-altering — particularly when it occurs in the FASCIAL LAYERS. In fact, there are people who are smarter than everyone you or I know put together, who believe that fascial restrictions are the basis for all sickness and disease (HERE). While three decades of clinical experience has led me to the conclusion that this model is more accurate than not, there is a big problem with this biological model.
Because our current insurance-based healthcare system is all about diagnosing things that can be seen or tested for, issues in the tissues — particularly in the fascia — can make suffering people think they are loosing their minds. For instance, I have a patient who earlier this year ran into a small herd of cattle on the roadway that had gotten out of their fence in the middle of the night. She has struggled with her WHIPLASH-TYPE INJURY, even though testing, orthopedic and neurological evaluations, and ADVANCED IMAGING techniques have all been “normal”. In other words, other than pain and some relatively minor restrictions in mobility, she has no visible / tangible (testable) basis for her pain.
Today I want to touch on the main ways that fascia winds up causing problems, including pain. They are mechanical reasons, chemical reasons, and electrical reasons.
- MECHANICAL: There are any number of mechanical / physical ways that people can wind up with stretched, torn, or injured fascia (HERE). While most people tend to associate this bullet point with traumatic injury, as often as not (probably more so) it comes from repetitive injuries (chronic overuse) or POSTURAL CONSIDERATIONS. Other reasons include impacts (getting hit BY SOMEONE or something), or overstretching tissues such what one might see in many SPORTS INJURIES or WHIPLASH INJURIES. And while mechanical causes of fibrotic, adhesed, or restricted fascia are super ultra-common, they might not actually be the biggest reason.
- CHEMICAL: There is a chemical process that occurs in our body that is specifically designed to allow us to heal injured or insulted tissues — it’s called inflammation. While these chemical mediators that we collectively refer to as INFLAMMATION are vital and necessary to any and all healing processes, too many of these chemicals can create problems — particularly if they are in the blood stream all the time. In other words, if they are present on a “SYSTEMIC” basis. A big part of this has to do with the fact that inflammation always leads to fibrosis (HERE). Another big thing I have shown you previously is that according to renowned neurologist and medical professor CHAN GUNN, this inflammation can also hypersensitize scar tissue, helping make it over a thousand times more pain-sensitive than normal tissues. Not surprisingly, inflammation is the root of most of the pain and chronic illness people deal with on a day-to-day basis. And because we are talking about the chemical aspect of tissue adhesion here, remember that we have not even began to discuss the fact that in many ways fascia acts as an endocrine organ as well (HERE).
- ELECTRICAL: Because fascia acts as another nervous system (HERE), it transmits messages of all sorts. Foul its PROPRIOCEPTIVE ABILITIES and as you’ll see if you click the link, you’ll also disrupt the motor side of the nervous system. Not only can this whole scenario tilt your nervous system away from proprioception and toward nocicpetion (pain and spasm), it helps create aberrant motor and sensory loops that both CHIROPRACTORS and OSTEOPATHS have been talking about since the late 1800’s and early 1900’s. Ultimately this can lead to a wide array of problems including CENTRAL SENSITIZATION.
- IMMUNE / ENDOCRINE: Because inflammation is an immune system function, I could actually put AUTOIMMUNE FASCIA PROBLEMS here. And this does not even begin to touch on the fact that fascia is actually a NEURO-ENDOCRINE ORGAN. Once you begin fouling these two systems, things start to get much worse.
Solving Fascial Adhesions
My next post is going to show people how to deal with (and hopefully restore) adhesed fascia and loss of proprioception (HERE it is). Meanwhile, if you are struggling with chronic pain or chronic illness, make sure to read these two posts (HERE and HERE). And if fascia really resonates with you — makes sense — be sure to at least bookmark my “FASCIA SUPER-POST” with about 175 articles on the subject, as well as a ton of peer-review!