Are Fascia and Myofascia Different?
Published on: September 10, 2021

Published By: Southwest Physical Therapy

Fascia and Myofascia Different

Along with their associated interpenetrating fascias, myofascia refers to the muscle structures with the familiar name. For instance, your calf muscle (gastrocnemius) is a myofascial structure, as are your biceps. Every single muscle in our body has fascia surrounding its whole structure by winding its way throughout every layer of its fascicles and cells. Therefore, the terms muscle and myofascia can be used interchangeably while we habitually talk about muscles.

Simply put, fascia is not different from myofascia. A subset of fascia is what myofascia is. The fascia that is a part of every muscle of our body is distinguished by the term myofascia. A muscle cannot and does not exist without its myofascia, but fascia can exist without being a part of a muscle.

Myofascia = Myo (which means muscle fiber) + Fascia = The muscle fibers are held together by these fascial wrappings to form a muscle.

The drivers of contraction and mobility are the muscle fibers, but without their fascial partners they wouldn’t be able to function. Energy for those muscle fibers is lubricated, organized and transferred by the fascia.

The fascia connecting and cloaking all muscle fibers together is naturally included by the myofascia, twining around every group of cell bundles, every cell bundle, and every cell. Geek out one day by learning about all the subcategories of myofascia called perimysium, epimysium and endomysium. 

The reason so much attention is given to myofascial is likely because many of those who want fascial therapies are often seeking to improve muscular performance – such as improving flexibility, improving motor control and improving strength. But always remember that all fascias are connected without exception.

Even when for better understanding of the human body we usually want to categorize and separate, that’s not the way fascia really works.

As explained by David Lesondak, We must at all times keep foremost in mind, as the most important thing, the fact that one continuous structure throughout the body is what the fascial net is . . . so that we understand that the fascia is all one, when it comes to the body – one organ.that is holistic, yet self-regulating and complex. 

When you’re undergoing your myofascial release therapy treatment session at Southwest Physical Therapy, think about these glistening membranous tissues within you, and let them inform your therapist’s motion. Indeed, a perfect label in this zone is the phrase motion is lotion. 

Focus on a deliberate, slow touch as you indulge in subtle movements. Feel its global and local percolation into your whole body sense.

What Fascia is Made of

Brace yourself because now is when things indeed get really interesting. Fascia basically is both a solid and a liquid – what is also known as a colloid.

A colloid is what fascia is. Emulsions and gels are all colloids. A substance containing particles of a solid material suspended in a liquid is a colloid. So a colloid is essentially both fluid and fiber.

Meanwhile, the extracellular matrix (ECM) and cells are the components of fascia. 

The ECM is both a fluid and a fiber. Elastin and collagen are what compose the ECM fibers, and they provide everything in the body with the scaffolding structure and support. The primary protein found in ECM is collagen, with its tremendous tensile strength that stretches without breaking. Elastin is very aptly named, since it’s a fiber that is very elastic, so additional resiliency is added by it to the fascia. All the empty spots in our “inner space” are filled in by the gelatinous soup that is the ECM. Peptides such as hyaluronan compose it along with water, and the chemical exchanges that happen between your tissue, lymph and blood cells occur in this goop. For the slide and glide of your tissues, this substance is also very critical.

What Fascial Seams Are

There are certain ribbons or currents of tissue, along which energy and tension are transferred, that provide stability and enable movement even as everything is connected to everything in the body. Aracelli, the myofascial release specialist at Southwest Physical Therapy, wisely refers to these as “the microstitches that your weave is composed of.” 

The Book Anatomy Trains’ Fascial Continuities by Thomas Myers

Interlinked series of these connected tracts of muscle and sinew are described by these myofascial continuities. You can read the in depth discussions on these continuities in Thomas Myers’ great book Anatomy Trains. Southwest Physical Therapy will now give you a brief introduction to seven of the major ones: 

  • Deep Front Line – Your body’s myofascial core is comprised by this.
  • Functional Lines – The Arm Lines are extended to your truck and opposite side leg and pelvis by these lines.
  • Arm Lines – From your spine and rib cage through your hand and shoulder, these lines run.
  • Spiral Line – Connects the opposite side of your lower body to the one side of your upper body, on both the posterior and anterior side of your body by looping around your body in a spiral.
  • Superficial Back Line –  From the bottom of your foot to the top of your head, this connects the entire posterior surface of your body.
  • Superficial Front Line –  From the side of your skull to the top of your feet, this connects the entire anterior surface of your body.
  • Lateral Line – Each side of your body is connected by this, from the midpoint of your foot, up the outside of your ankle, the outside of your leg and thigh, along your trunk, under your shoulder, and along the side of your neck to your ear.

Southwest Physical Therapy is an expert in all this, with 15 years specializing in myofascial release. That is why we understand it completely, to promptly identify the trigger points in your fascia that are restricted and causing you all your problems with chronic pain and restricted range of motion. Within a few treatment sessions, we are able to heal your condition by greatly reducing your chronic pain and eventually eliminating it completely for many of our happy patients. We enrich the quality of your life and bring you peace. Myofascial release therapy is the best, most effective maintenance for your fascia so it can be in tiptop form. Contact us NOW because you’ve suffered much too much already.

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