Myofascia and Osteopathy

Contractibility of Myofascial Tissue (Fascia)

Fascia was first seen as a passive biomechanical support.
Force transmission was possible, and the different sheets can slide and glide on each other although also connected by elastic collagen fibers.
Fascia also offers a mean of energy storage, acting in a spring-like manner via pre-stressed tensegrity structures.
Tension of myofascial tissue is actively regulated by myofibroblasts with the potential to impact active musculoskeletal dynamics.
Active fascial contractility in time frames of seconds is not possible.
Active changes of fascial stiffness however might play a role in the motoneuronal coordination aspect of low back stability and other musculoskeletal parameters when viewed in a time-window of several minutes and longer.
Fascial tissue can shorten over time frames of several days or more. The contracture is a combination of cellular contraction, collagen cross linking and matrix remodeling.
Fascia are not the same all over the body.
For example: histologically, the collagen volume in the lower extremity is some 18% and elastic fiber volume some 1% This means that these fasciae are not very elastic and that they can transmit tension, created by muscles to great distances, even passing over different joints and structures. In the thoracolumbar fascia, the elastic fibers are some 15% of the volume.
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