Fascia, Scar Tissue and Tissue Remodeling
Is it possible to remodel body tissue like fascia, especially if it has become altered by scar tissue? That question is of keen interest for me, both personally and professionally.
Recently, I had the privilege of attending the 3rd Fascia Research Congress, held in Vancouver, B.C., March 28-30, 2012. It was a gathering of academicians, scientists, and clinicians who are dedicated to researching fascia, the connective tissue matrix under the skin which links to nerves, veins, tendons, adipose, ligaments, bone, and muscle. You’ve heard me reference this tissue system before because it is where all the exciting things happen in the body!
About Fascia and Fluid Dynamics
Fascia functions to provide a smooth gliding surface for body structures so that they can quickly and easily move across each other. It also supports tissue hydration and tissue remodeling. Two topics that really peaked my interest at the congress were fluid dynamics and post-surgical scar treatment because they are intimately involved in maintaining health and wellness.
Fluid dynamics play a critical role in regulating collagen and elastic fibers and microfibrils, hyaluronan, proteoglycans, and glycoproteins. Fluid flow within this matrix functions to regulate cellular hydration, nutrient transport, tissue function, lymphatic flow, and cell-to-cell communication. Fluid stagnation, as seen in edema, is inflammatory and begins to remodel tissues in a negative way, leading to fibrosis (an abnormal development of excess connective tissue).
The Problem with Scar Tissue
Scar tissue can dramatically change the internal environment of the connective tissue matrix and its fluid dynamics through the disorganization of tissues and the cascade of inflammatory mediators (biochemicals). The formation and ramifications of adhesions associated with chronic inflammation or surgery were also discussed and the take away piece from these lectures was the importance of soft tissue mobilization, as soon as possible post-surgery, to effect the best possible repair.
If you have ever experienced edema, adhesions, or chronic inflammatory conditions, was there a particular therapy that helped you to recover? Would you care to share your experience?
If you’d like to know how you can keep your fascia system flexible, check out this great blog: Nicole Rae Fitness