The anatomy and physiology of the different systems are necessary for the study and understanding of human body movement, highlighting, in this case, the participation of the musculoskeletal system as an effector component of the movement.
The morphological and histological characteristics of the muscular system are multiple, as reddish and contractile structures with one or more origin or bellies.
Most have non-contractile portions called tendons, where their major component is collagen and allow the muscle to attach to the bone.
What is a Fascia?
There is another important structure in the muscle and it is called fascia; in other texts: aponeurosis, which allows to shape and protect the fibers that make up the muscles.
The Stedman's Medical Dictionary (1998) states that fascia is a fibrous tissue sheath that wraps the body under the skin; it also surrounds muscles and muscle groups and separates 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 to the above, it fulfills the important function in terms of movement, organisation and separation of muscles, ensuring their protection and autonomy.
The Federation International Anatomical Terminology Committee (FICAT) defines the fascia, in general terms, as pods, leaves or other connective tissue aggregates that can be disassembled.
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, emphasizing 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 then 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 recognizes 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, which constitutes a mesh that surrounds, delimits, coheres, moves, manages, relates and facilitates the mechanical and functional physiology 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 in a general way will be mentioned, knowing that the function 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 specialized 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, always in the search for maximum functional efficiency with a minimum of expenditure of Energy.