The first step in taking care of your body, so that it functions, performs and feels the way you want, is to understand it.
The human body has 206 bones, more than 300 joints and approximately 650 muscles, all of which are designed to work interdependently in order to function and move efficiently as a whole. If any one thing is not operating properly, the entire body can be affected.
If the skeletal structure is out of alignment, or the soft tissue is unable to obtain a continuous supply of fresh oxygen, blood and fluids, a host of health issues, including pain, can result. The good news is, the body can heal. It can be restored. The body can sustain, adapt, and rebuild. It can also be maintained and conditioned in order to avoid dysfunction that causes pain.
How your body operates, feels and functions is largely up to you. It’s all about what you choose to do with it. And we, at TriggerPoint, are here to help provide the guidance, tools and support you need.
Take a moment to consider your habits, your activity level, the environment you live in, your job, the way you sit, walk and stand, your sleep patterns, your hydration levels. All of these factors contribute to how your body functions day to day. Empower yourself to hone your knowledge and build your toolbox so that you can maintain efficient movement, proper functionality, and live in a body that works and performs for you.
A Lesson on Fascia
What Is Fascia And Why Is It Important?
TriggerPoint products focus on soft tissue, which can ultimately be restored via self-myofascial release and facilitate healing in other parts of the body.
Fascia is connective tissue fibers - primarily collagen - that form sheaths or bands beneath the skin to attach, stabilize, enclose, and separate muscles and internal organs.
Fasciae are similar to ligaments and tendons as they are largely made up of collagen. They differ in their location and function, though. Ligaments join one bone to another bone, while tendons join muscle to bone and fasciae surrounds muscles and other structures.
Fascia forms a whole-body, continuous three-dimensional matrix of structural support around our organs, muscles, joints, bones and nerve fibers. Fascia is directly related to movement, as it helps to support the muscles by transmitting force throughout the body. The fascial arrangement, similar to a spider web, also allows us to move in multiple directions.
But this connective tissue does much more than simply help transmit forces that drive movement. It also helps the nervous system with quick responses, and is a key component in supporting the body during repetitive tasks. A runner will have dense fascia in the calves to support running, a weightlifter may have dense fascia in the back to support weightlifting, and a sitter will have dehydrated and “sticky” fascia in their glutes to support sitting.
What Are Biomechanics?
When trying to maintain mobility or avoid injury it is important to be aware of how the body moves.
The body functions as an interconnected unit. Many bones, joints, muscles and tissues work together just to do a basic squat, or reach to answer the phone, or type on a computer. Each part affects the other parts, and it’s important to recognize that addressing the entire biomechanical chain, rather than just one problem area, is the key. Here are some basics regarding human movement, and the way we address it.
How The Body Communications
The body communicates as a series of parts that work together. To put it simply, the foot tells the knee where to go, which tells the hip what to do, which transmits forces through the spine, and up to the shoulders, neck, and head. Each area contains many muscles that work together to control and affect the surrounding areas. For example, the foot has almost 100 muscles that either connect directly to it or directly influence it in some way. Several of these muscles connect not only to the foot itself, but run all the way up the lower leg and also connect to the knee. If one of these muscles is off, it can affect the foot, the knee, and more. Similarly, if the hip is off, the spine can’t transfer force and the person may be subject to a potential shoulder injury or neck tension.
What Are Trigger Points? And Why Do They Occur?
If one part of your body is not performing at its optimal level, other areas of the body will compensate. Eventually, these other areas can be compromised as well. Over time, this leads to injury.
The body will cope with this abnormal level of tension by laying down Myofascial Trigger Points (MTrPs) in the area. A myofascial trigger point was defined by Drs. Travell and Simons as “a hyperirritable spot in skeletal muscle that is associated with a hypersensitive palpable nodule”. It is common for these to form near the neuromuscular junction, where the nerve and muscle meet. In many cases, the surrounding nerves will be affected, and the fascia will thicken, which results in pain and discomfort.