Fascia is a fibrous tissue sheath that wraps the body under the skin as well as surrounding muscles and muscle groups separating their different layers or groups.
The fascias can be considered as a system composed of connective tissue that envelops, connects and communicates the body, demonstrating in recent years to be an active and resistant tissue that is present throughout the body and that has great importance in the body's metabolism. In addition, fascia fulfills the important function in terms of movement, organisation and separation of muscles, ensuring their protection and autonomy.
The first International Congress of Fascia Research in 2007 formulated a broad definition of the fascia as the soft tissue component of the connective tissue system, emphasising its uninterrupted three-dimensional extensions in the form of a band and highlighting its functional attributes.
The congress went on to include joint and muscle capsules, organs, septa, ligaments, retinacula, aponeurosis, tendons, myofascia, neurofascia and other fibrous collagens as fascial forms, inseparable from the surrounding connective tissues.
It should be noted that the fascia is not a passive structure, but a functional organ of stability and movement, practically inseparable from all the surrounding tissue.
Classical anatomy recognises the existence of fascial planes (formerly called aponeurotic), describing them as a kind of envelopes that surround the muscles and viscera, fixing and protecting their concrete space within the human body.
Functions of Fascia
In the first place, it should be mentioned that this system can be considered as a functional unit of the human body.
Its functions are multiple and varied, even more so when it is identified that it acts in a special and different way in each part where it is present.
Therefore functions identified will depend on the depth of the fascial tissue:
- Support, nutrient function, transport, absorption of friction among other elements, conservation of body heat.
- Neutraliser of endogenous toxins.
- Scar collagen effect.
- Function tissue, ie cellular exchanges of other tissues with blood and lymph.
- Defense activity through phagocytes (cells specialised in defending the organism from external agents).
The healthy and balanced fascial system with the capacity of a free and complete internal and external movement, ensures the body the possibility of a movement with full amplitude and coordination and always in search for maximum functional efficiency with a minimum of expenditure of Energy.