If you want to know how to release your fascia, get rid of your pain and help your muscles and joints then you should check out my Ultimate Self Massage Guide. It shows you how to use a tennis ball and foam roller to combat your pain at home.
Everywhere. I could leave that one word as this whole past and I would have answered my somewhat useless question correctly. After reading Part 1, you will now be knowledgeable enough on this topic to understand that your fascia connects right through your body. One thing goes wrong, many things go wrong. However, seeing as I am writing a post on where the problems lie, I’m going to answer my own question.
The most common ‘line’ that is affected is the superficial back line. If you don’t know what that is then you haven’t read Part 1, go and do it. I’ll start by pointing out that every part of your body can suffer from tight fascia and it’s referral pains. But…there is one place that gets affected more than others. Nearly everyone reading this post will have tight fascia in this hot spot.
It All Begins In Your Feet
This is number 1, top of the list, the big momma of fascia issues. You’ve heard of this, and a lot of you may have experienced it. Plantar Fasciitis hurts; it’s a pain in the foot. Haha.
What Is It?
The plantar fascia consists of thick bands of tissue that extend from the heel bone to the toes. When this gets inflamed, you have plantar fasciitis.
You get pain at the bottom of your heel and is usually most troublesome to people when they first get out of bed. When it gets worse, you start to feel it during every day activities. Pain is first felt at the bottom of the heel, but can also radiate down through the entire foot along the fascia.
Repeat stretch on the fascia causes it to get micro tears. This is a chronic (long term) problem. Things like sudden weight gain can increase the stress on the plantar fascia. Abnormal foot mechanics is another big cause. If your foot isn’t functioning well, then you are going to put extra stress through your plantar fascia. Extra stress overtime leads to micro tears and inflammation.
You don’t have to have plantar fasciitis to get pain. A lot of people…when I say a lot, I mean most of you; will have tightish (no not a real word) plantar fascias. If you haven’t already done it go back to Part 1 and do the toe touch test. Tight plantar fascia can affect a lot more than your feet.
Tight Feet And The Pain It Gives You
If you are even a little bit tight through the fascia in your feet, then you are a little bit tight through the fascia right up your superficial back line. Remember this ran from under your feet, right up your back and over the top of your head. So if your plantar fascia is feeling it, you are going to be tight in your
- Lower Back
- Upper Back
Can one tight spot in your feet really cause tightness in these areas? Yep. The toe touch test was a perfect indicator of that. Tightness doesn’t sound so bad I know. But by being tight in certain areas, you are altering the ability for your muscles to move freely, and efficiently. I have mentioned a thousand times that this will then alter your biomechanics and therefore cause you chronic problems in other areas.
Everything Is Connected
Look at this step-by-step breakdown
- Tight feet or plantar fasciitis causes abnormal foot movements and biomechanics, perhaps you are pronating excessively. (foot dropping inwards)
- Ankle movement is somewhat compromised.
- Knee must compensate, it tries to correct the abnormal movement of the foot
- Knee is out of wack trying to correct, so your hip does the same thing, chronic change in movement patterns leads to unnecessary stress on the joint
A small problem in your foot can cause major issues right up through your hips. But it doesn’t stop there.
- Hip is connected through fascia to your shoulders
- Shoulder get pulled over time into another position and compensate
- Repeat abnormal stress through the shoulder causes problems
Plantar Fasciitis or tight plantar fascias can lead to many problems right through your body. By getting the fascia in your feet to relax, you are freeing up all the muscles that are joined in this line. It starts with your feet, but it doesn’t end there.
It’s Not Just The Feet
It isn’t only the feet that can cause you trouble. Remember, fascia is very mouldable (not 100% sure if I made this word up, but you understand), and if you spend a lot of time in certain positions, or repeat movements, fascia all over the body can become tight and troublesome. A good example is the hip flexors. By sitting down all day, your hip flexors are in a shortened position. The fascia surrounding them will eventually want to stay in that shortened position, causing tightness through the hip flexor, and leading to potential back problems. We won’t go through all the examples, but chances are if you are tight in a muscle, you are also tight in the fascia. You need to address both.
In Part 3 we will go through some things you can do to loosen up your fascia, and keep your body moving smoothly and efficiently.