What the Fuzz: Myofascial Anatomy

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By Matt Smith ART, CES, CPT, FMS

Recently there has been fantastic development in the self-rehabilitation component of CrossFit. Kelly Starrett and various other people have shared important knowledge with our community on how to be more efficient, more powerful, and injury-free. As CrossFit continues to develop as a sport and a lifestyle, the complementary rehabilitation aspect of fitness must grow as well. As part of that movement, this article is the first of many to come from Tabata Times in dedication to furthering the efforts to make our community healthier, stronger, and injury-free — now and in the years to come.

What is Myofascial Release?

If you have ever done MobilityWOD homework, more than likely you have worked on some form of myofascial release to improve your positioning — and therefore create more efficient movement.
Myofascial Release has been performed for centuries as a treatment for musculo-skeletal pain. Many health professionals have based their careers on getting people out of pain through manual and instrument-assisted techniques like Active Release Technique, Cross-Friction Massage, Myofascial Release, Graston, and others. In recent years, there have been developments in tools that allow people to perform myofascial release on themselves — a welcome convenience for busy folks. These tools have allowed athletes to take their health into their own hands and drastically improve their performance.

In Part I of this series, learn how and why myofascial release works in addition to how it can benefit you as an athlete.

Understanding Myofascial Anatomy

Defining Myofascia

“Myo-” is a simple prefix for muscle. Fascia is composed of collagen and elastic fibers that are suspended in a more fluid substance called the extracellular matrix. This matrix is made up of different cells that produce a fluid-like substance in which the collagen and elastic fibers exist.

Video Lesson: “The Fuzz”

Dr. Gil Hedley, one of the great minds of our generation, has produced incredible work through dissection and exploration of the human body. In the video below, he provides a clear demonstration of the web of fascia that runs in, out, around and in between ALL of the structures of the body (muscles, bones, organs, etc.). Keeping this fascial network healthy is imperative to performing proper movement patterns.

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