Fascial System “shortness”  PART 1 of 2
Most ongoing tightness is due to FASCIAL length shortening and NOT nerve-muscle issues!
How many of you have had ‘tight hamstrings’ your entire life, but no matter how much you ‘stretch’ them, they never seem to get any longer?  Many I’m sure.

** (side note:  another foundational challenge with chronically tight hamstrings is actually too much anterior pelvic tilt…keep up with the ManDown blogs to find out how to solve!)**

The more sitting, exercise, lifting, running etc that one does, the greater the need to ‘re-stretch’ the fascial systems.

This fascial shortening occurs all over the body and in very predicable patterns and sequences.  Less predictable fascial issues occur as a result of specific sprains, contusions, surgeries and seemingly ‘pulled muscles’.

As the tightening gets worse, the body mis-alignment gets worse and subsequently uses up more of your nutrients and minerals!

Fascia itself can vary in consistency from a gel-like almost liquid (Healthy, hydrated and nourished) to putty-like and dry/leathery/sticky (unhealthy, dehydrated and mal-nourished)

What can you do?  First and foremost, anyone suffering from overall PAIN throughout their bodies need a major dietary overhaul (yet another separate Man Down Blog)…  The basics… more raw fruits and vegetables and more water.  More specifically, muscles need calcium-magnesium-potassium to function properly and a depletion makes the MUSCLES tight, even when the fascial isn’t bunched up.

Fascia Supplements and Nutrition –
1.  green leafy vegetables and seaweed are high in calcium and magnesium which are also building blocks for the fascial system of the body.  Green leafy vegetables(magnesium primarily) are excellent tissue cleansers and rebuilders, which are very important for the liver (which cleanses the blood and rebuilds tissue!)  They are also high in Calcium which helps relax muscles, assists with depression or anxiety.
2.  EPA/DHA from Nutraceutical grade Fish Oil are also important for anti-inflammation and proper cellular rebuilding (primarily cell membranes of all tissue and cells).  We use EPA/DHA 6:1 from Metagenics!
3. Water, water and more water!  We could all use more water in our bodies and proper fascial health is no different.  So add another reason to drink more water!

It really can be that simple.  But remember, we are talking about adding these nutritional and supplemental changes on a CONSISTENT basis, and NOT for a couple of days or weeks!
Try this approach for at least 30 days and see how much better you feel overall, less painful you are when getting a massage!  Tightness will be dramatically reduced in your fascia and with the proper FASCIAL STRETCHING program you will be on your way to higher functioning and performance.

Yours in Health.

Jason W. Amstutz DC, RTP, CCSP
Stark Sports Med Group