A Discussion on Fascial Lines

A Discussion on Fascial Lines

  • Integrated movement: Bones move, joints perceive or feel a movement and muscles (soft tissues) react to the movement. 
  • Muscles are a manmade construct 
    • The brain knows muscles, but the body only knows movement. In particular, how to control movement in conjunction to the forces that are continuously presented on the body 
    • Forces include: gravity, ground reaction forces, mass and momentum
  • Muscles can produce force 
    • We have named muscles according to the actions they perform from an isolated, concentric contraction standpoint. 
      • Biceps flexes the elbow 
      • Quadriceps extends the knee 
    • This train of thought isn’t wrong, but usually muscles will lengthen to control motion and the forces presented to the body. 
      • Bicep lengthens to control shoulder extension in the sagittal plane. 
      • Quadriceps controls the knee from flexing (through 3 planes of motion). It does so with the tissues above and below 
KEY TAKEAWAY: Muscles can produce a force, but what they really want to do is control opposite motion 

  • Most of the time, the body goes opposite of the intended motion before following through with the intended motion 
    • Throwing a ball: An individual is going to wind up before throwing the ball. 
    • Swinging a golf club: An individual performs a back swing before the downswing. 
    • Vertical jump: An individual is going to load up before exploding off the floor 
KEY TAKEAWAY: Going the opposite motion first allows tissues and proprioceptors to lengthen together. This prepares the system to concentrically explode.
  • Injuries occur when the body is presented with forces it can’t handle. 
  • By looking through an integrated lens, we can identify major soft tissue combinations that connect together to control said forces. 
  • Fascia binds us together as a body 
    • As longs as fascia is kept intact, bones can be dissected from the body and the structure of the body will still remain. 
    • The fascia also contains contractile properties 
    • Since the nervous system is connected to the fascia, it helps with creating sympathetic and parasympathetic responses 
  • Body work does not deform tissue 
    • It takes 2000 lbs of force/sq inch to deform tissue 
    • Body work improves the ability and efficiency of the tissue interfaces to slide past each other. Essentially, it “un-velcro’s the tissue” 
  • How body work, works: 
    • By lightly pushing on an individual’s body, we are changing the pressure of the structures underneath and around it. When the “push” is released, the area is going to be flushed with fluids and blood. 

  • Over time if the tissue is unable to lengthen and shorten to end ROM, there is not going to be much pressure change in said tissue compared to other structures around it. 
    • Fluid and gas always moves from a high pressure region to a low pressure region. 
    • If pressure differential is non-existent, not much fluid/blood will be pumped through the tissue during its excursions. 
    • If this happens, oxygen is not able to get to the tissue. Over time, a chemical reaction that binds tissues together will occur, giving rise to negative events. 

  • If there is immobility, restriction or bound up tissue, the tension in the body’s tissue comes in quickly and abruptly. 
  • Principles of tensegrity (tension + integrity) = with compression comes tension, with tension comes compression 
    • Pull and push during a stretch: the pull causes tension on the system and the push compresses the system. The pushing hand can be directed in various places to make an integrated stretch more isolated towards a region 
    • When performing a lateral flexibility highway stretch, by moving the pushing hand up or down we can isolate the stretch to a higher or lower region of the body 
Flexibility Highways 
  • Links together movement rather than depths and layers of tissue 
  • Consist of anterior, posterior, lateral, anterior X and posterior X 
  • All consists of a combination of tissues to control motion 
  • We can lengthen tissues through static or dynamic movements 

1) Anterior Flexibility Highway
  • = Along the front of body: toe extensors > dorsiflexors > quads > hip flexors > abdominals > pecs > cervical flexors and biceps 
    • The concentric, isolated movements of these muscles would be flexion of the body except at the knee. In integration, they control extension of the body. 
    • Static stretch: Get into a staggered stance, feet shoulders-width apart, L foot toe-in, opposite foot - toes pointed forward, drive the R knee forward. 
    • Think about sequential dissociation as you drive the knee forward. If all the joints move at the same speed and direction, the body won’t feel any lengthening. 
    • Dynamic: Lunge w/hands overhead. 
    • If closing angle pinch is present in the lumbar spine, regress the exercise down to the knees into a kneeling lunge pattern 
2) Posterior Flexibility Highway
  • = Toe flexors > gastroc and soleus > hamstring > glutes > thoracolumbar fascia > lats > cervical extensor > epicranial fascia 
    • The concentric, isolated movements of these muscles create extension moments except at the knee. In integration, they control flexion of the body 
    • Static stretch: Traditional hamstring stretch 
    • Dynamic: Posterior lunge (active hamstring stretch) 
    • We can combine the anterior lunge with a posterior lunge to create a “pivot”. According to the Gray institute, this is when you go from one end of the spectrum to another. 
3) Lateral Flexibility Highway
  • = Peroneus longus (attaches at the big toe) > IT band > lateral glute complex (including TFL) > quadratus lumborum > lats > delts > opposite side shoulder complex 
  • Improving the frontal plane motion is important since we are sagittally dominant creatures 
  • Improving frontal and transverse plane mobility will automatically improve sagittal plane mobility 
  • In isolation, the muscles create same side bending (ipsilateral). In integration, the muscles control opposite side (contralateral) side bending 
  • Mobility in this plane is important for individuals who run, swim, bike (sagittal dominant actions) 
  • Static stretch: Lateral flexibility highway stretch 
  • Dynamic: Active same side lunge w/overhead reach 
  • Pivot: R foot side lunge, hands falling L overhead to R foot left side lunge, hands falling R overhead. 
4) Anterior and Posterior X Flexibility Highway 
  • = If L foot forward and R hand forward while walking, the Anterior X Flexibility Highway will consist of R quadriceps, R hip flexor, R internal oblique, L external oblique, L pec complex and L bicep (all these muscles are eccentrically loaded). At the same time, the Posterior X Flexibility Highway will consist of L hamstrings, L glute, thoracolumbar fascia, R lat, R tricep and R posterior shoulder complex (eccentrically loaded) 
  • These two highways are known as the sling system of the body. 
  • As we walk, if the L foot swings forward and the R hand swings forward, the pelvis rotates to the R while the thoracic spine rotates to the L. The shoulder complex and thoracic spine complex are moving in opposite directions 
  • The opposing direction of movement between the shoulder complex and thoracic spine complex allows efficient occurrence of elastic coil and recoil in the system 
  • This creates eccentric loading through an “X” combination of tissue in the anterior and posterior sides of the body. 
  • At any time, there is always one Anterior X and Posterior X combination happening simultaneously