The fascial system is more widespread than the muscular system within the body yet very rarely people have heard of it. The fascia is a dense connective tissue that surrounds the muscles, bones, nerves and blood vessels of the body. It is the framework which holds the body together allowing us to move and function as we do.
The fascia is important for us because of the way it holds and acts on the muscles and affects the body. Each muscle is surrounded by a fascia sheath. The sheath of each muscle then attaches onto the next sheath of the muscles around it. The result is you end up with one long interconnected structure running from the finger tips to the head or the head down to your toes. These are called fascial trains.
The fascia becomes important when treating pain or developing movement within the body. Pain, tightness or loss of integrity in the fascia can transmit pain or inhibit movement anywhere along the fascial chain. This means that treating the site of pain may not produce improvements because the cause lies elsewhere in the body. In the same way, stretching a certain area may not allow a movement to happen because the stiffness is further up or down the fascial chain.
Restoring integrity to the fascia involves different techniques than normal stretching or rehab protocols. Treatment involves using massage, trigger point therapy (TPT) as well soft tissue release (STR). This is why foam rollers have become so popular as they can be used to work on these issues.
The fascial system can really help a rugby player by preventing injuries, aiding rehab and creating fast improvements in posture and muscle strength. IF you have stubborn pains or niggles that have failed to respond to traditional rehab then this should be an avenue for you to go down. Here is more about it in my video from my course – The Star Performer Blueprint –