There is a general conception that our bodies are like a machine made up of muscles, ligaments, and bones. Like a machine with a broken part, when we are sore or in pain, there is usually one part that needs to be fixed, like a back muscle or ankle, for example. But what about pain that doesn’t really feel like it’s coming from anywhere in particular, or that can be felt in different places throughout the body? Often, this type of pain has to do with the part of the body known as the fascia.
Fascia is the fluid, connective tissue that forms a network to surround our body and hold us firmly together. Fascial networks connect every part of our body and live between every cell, allowing us to move in fluid and functional ways. Fasciae have more sensory neurons than any part of the body (except for the skin), so there’s lots of opportunity for it to ache. Strengthening your anatomical perspective by focusing on your fascial network can help relieve this pain and also lead to better functional movement.
Corrective exercise is one way to approach fascial pain. Essentially, corrective exercise is using exercise or movement to correct a specific impairment. Often fascia pain can be attributed to excessive stress or strain in an area of the body from incorrect or inefficient movement. Corrective exercise helps to correct movement to reduce the stress in an area causing pain. Corrective exercise can also help improve posture which helps to prevent some fascial pain. However, it’s important to know that corrective exercise can only be properly done or guided by someone with an expertise in anatomy. That’s why if you’re looking to turn to corrective exercise to help with fascial pain, consulting a professional is necessary if you want to get to the heart of the issue and properly support healing.
Here is our list of some of the best ways to keep your fascia feeling good and to avoid that unpleasant body pain that starts in your fascial network, in addition to corrective exercise:
- Stretching: After a good night’s sleep, a good, slow, long stretch can help get rid of the stiffness and cramping that we often feel when we first wake up. That’s because it helps to pull apart the fascia to keep it flexible and allowing easily, fluid movement.
- Dynamic Stretching: Dynamic stretching is great for keeping you limber and loose because it warms up your muscles and tissues the way stretching does, but the main difference is that in dynamic stretching you don’t hold the position. Instead, you engage in active movements like swinging arms or lightly jogging in place. This helps stimulate your muscles and tissue to stay active and keep movements fluid.
- Rolling: Using a foam roller or practicing tennis ball massage is another way to loosen the fascia and keep things fluid and smooth. This type of care and attention can help to unwind tissue that’s been twisted or bound and loosen tight tissue that causes pain.
- Drink Fluids: Like most advice, our list wouldn’t be complete without telling you to drink more water. Staying hydrated by drinking plenty of fluids helps to keep the fascia from drying out or feeling parched.
It’s important to have a healthy, fluid fascial network to avoid pain and stay active and mobile. And sometimes all that means is staying active, practicing stretching, massage or rolling, and drinking lots of water or other liquids. But if you’re feeling pain, turning to a professional who understands corrective exercise is a great way to get to the source of the pain and to correct your movements to eliminate the pain.