Myofascial pain is recognised today as one of the most common causes of musculo- skeletal pain. By understanding more about fascia and how it works, you will understand why certain injuries happen, and keep happening. So it will be easier for you to get the best out of your body, recover faster and stop injuring and re injuring yourself.
Fascia is important.
It has properties that let you use it for lots of tasks. Fascia is a gel so it can be liquid like jelly on the stove, or like jelly that’s been forgotten in the back of the refrigerator for a few weeks, so hard that you can’t get a knife into it.
It’s the tough outer skin of the muscle, (the muscle sheath) it’s also the glue that glues muscles tendons and ligament to bone, plus it’s the slimy stuff that lets muscles slide past each other when you’re using them.
If you’ve ever wondered what stops weightlifters muscles from bursting when they lift those hundreds of kilo’s or why your muscles form the shapes they do? It’s this tough stuff called myofascia.
For shortening recovery times and reducing injury one of the most useful techniques is helping you to understand that being nice to your Myofascia is essential to injury recovery and why fascia hates heat.
Fascia also combines with Collagen reinforcing strands to form a fabric that has a tensile strength 10 times that of steel. Because it can withstand up to 140 kg/cm2 of pressure the body uses Fascia to surround and protect all your organs and muscles. By comparison car tyres inflate to around 2 kg/cm2. Fascia is strong enough to crush bone and running or jumping on cold fascia is a major contributor to shin splints and many other stress fractures.
By learning to work with fascia, you will rehab faster and have lots more energy for the fun things in life.
Why you may be 'Showering yourself to a standstill'.
Myofascia is a gel and when gels are heated they liquefy. You can heat up your fascia naturally with exercise or unnaturally with things like heat packs, hot showers or spa’s. Many treatment plans that have no knowledge of fascia and how it works recommend this, we believe that’s a big mistake! Because when you heat a gel it must eventually cool down and, the more you heat gels the harder they set when they cool. After a really hard workout you can be stiff the next day, stuck fascia is part of the reason.
Making friends with your Myofascia.
If you use hot water on fascia to get relief from pain or tension. It just gets more and more addictive. Over time you will need hotter and hotter showers or heat packs to get any relief and then hours later when your fascia sets, you will blame it on what you’re doing at the time. Lets be really clear if you are having a hot shower in the morning and feeling terrible later on.
You probably did it to yourself!
Think about making jelly then keep heating and setting it for a few weeks, months, years. If you’re already using hot showers and heat packs you already know you need more and more heat.
There is a way out of this cycle. Stop having hot showers.
If you turn up injured at our clinics we insist you agree to follow this advice, or we don’t even start treatment.
Common excuses for using heat.
If you think you need hot water to get clean after work, hot water actually opens the pores wider and lets dirt get further in so when the skin cools it’s trapped underneath. Warm is best for cleaning skin, and if you think you need it to warm up in the winter, you don’t, your body was never designed to be put in hot water, for showering, pleasant warm is ok. Just not hot!
Thousands of case histories tell us over time you will find this is, one of the best things you’ve ever done for your overall health. You will find you can work (or play) longer, be less tired and have limbs that move smoothly everyday, and be able to do lots more things and get way less tired. Try it for 3 weeks. The positive change in how your body moves will surprise you.