What is Fascia? Anatomy & Physiology

Fascia explained by Guimberteux and Armstrong 2015

Fascia is the tensional, continuous fibrillar network within the body, extending from the surface of the skin to the nucleus of the cell. This global network is mobile, adaptable, fractal, and irregular. It constitutes the basic structural architecture of the human body.

The old way to explain Fascia

  • Thin layer around a muscle, the white we see on a piece of meat.
  • Goes in line with the old idea of a divided body, where fascia is what separates different parts and layers from each other.

The updated explanation of Fascia

Schleip 2013, Stecco 2011, 2014, 2015, 2018, Langevin 2002, 2006

  • Fascia is ONE system, without beginning and end that maintains interconnection, communication and interaction between different parts of the body.
  • Our body, everything in our body, consists of cells and the substance outside or cells, the extracellular matrix (ECM).
  • A tissue is a group of cells with similar tasks (muscle tissue, bone tissue) and they are all encapsulated by the ECM.

The Extracellular Matrix (ECM)

  • ECM consists of fibers (for example collagen) who provides stability
  • … and the fluid, gel like, ground substance (incl. hyaluronan acid and water) responsible for cell migration, shock absorption and sliding/gliding functions.
  • This structure enables the interconnection and communication between all parts of the body.
  • Fascia, is the ECM and the cells creating and managing the ECM (like fibroblasts & fasciacytes)

Dig deeper into Fascia Anatomy & Physiology

What is fascia – in detail

Our entire body, all tissues, consists of cells and the substance that exists outside, around the cells, that is the extracellular matrix. With these explanations of fascia you understand how important it is to see the body as a whole and not part by part.

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Hyaluronan has a number of important physiological functions in our body and is critical for the slide and glide effects between muscle fibers and fascial sublayers. Therefore, it greatly affects our ability to move in balance and it helps maintain tissue homeostasis.

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