Palpation of Fascia

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Palpation of Fascia

The normal feeling of fascia varies dramatically depending on the fascial structure that you are palpating. The Ilio-tibial band (ITB) is very dense fascia, and is similar to tendon. Myofascial sheaths feel more like stretchy layers of fabric that wrap the muscle. When considering how a fascial structure should feel you must consider the nature of that structure.

Fascia is generally anchored into the periosteum of bones, and as a result will not naturally stretch as much if the direction of pull is away from a bony attachment, as it will if there is no bony attachment behind the direction of pull.

Layers of fascia will glide freely over each other if the tissue is healthy.

Restricted fascial glide may indicate adhesions between the layers of fascia.

Less stretch than you would expect may indicate fascial adhesions, however consider the density of the fascia you are working with and how close you are to the fascia’s bony attachment.

A thick texture of the connective tissue may indicate a thickening of the connective tissue’s ground substance caused by lack of movement, or the sympathetic nervous system response.

Hard, dense misaligned fibres which are palpated within the fascia may be scar-tissue – evidence of a fascial injury.