FASCIAL STRETCH THERAPY

WHAT IS FASCIAL STRETCH THERAPY™ (FST)**?

Table-Based Treatment

Fascial Stretch Therapy is a table-based treatment technique whereby a therapist uses specific positions and assists the patient in active stretching.

Fascia & Joint Focused

FST is unique in that focuses on the fascia and joint capsules to gain pain relief, muscle length, improved flexibility and strength.

Client-Oriented

FST is very client oriented and driven. The client needs to contract and relax a muscle as the therapist moves it through various stretch positions.

Muscle Stretch Reflex

Fascial Strech Therapy uses the client’s nervous system to improve the muscle’s response by targeting the muscle stretch reflex.

Freedom of Movement

After an FST treatment, a client typically reports an immediate sensation of “lightness” with greater freedom of movement at restricted joints.

Improved Blood Flow

An improved sensation of range of motion is due to improved blood flow to the affected area allowing it loosen and release.

WHO WOULD BENEFIT FROM FST?

Clients treated with Fascial Stretch Therapy include those with the following history and diagnoses:

Neurological Conditions including:

• Stroke
• Spinal Cord Injuries
• Multiple Sclerosis
• Acquired Brain Injuries
• Guillain-Barre Syndrome
• Cerebral Palsy
• Idiopathic conditions

Sport/Musculoskeletal injuries including:

• Shoulders impingements due to postural dysfunction, muscle imbalance or overuse injuries
• Hamstring or Quadriceps shortening due to muscle imbalances
• Hip Flexor restrictions from capsular locking
• Gluteal tightness from strenuous running or sports
• Low back pain from prolonged sitting, heavy lifting or motor vehicle collisions
• Stiff calves secondary to reduced flexibility or constant active usage

WHY IS FST BENEFICIAL?

The fascial system is often under-recognized and treated. However, research is showing improved long-term effects post FST treatment as it provides muscles with an environment where they can smoothly move and acts as a supportive blanket for nerves and blood vessels as they pass through and between muscles.

 

Benefits of improved fascial mobility include:

• Reduced risk of injuries
• Improved circulation
• A restored range of motion
• Improved joint health
• A release of endorphins which are natural pain suppressants
• Improved strength
• Reduced stress
• Improved agility and performance
• Decreased muscle soreness
• Improved posture

WHAT DOES FASCIA MEAN?

Fascia is a system of web-like connective tissue that surrounds muscles, groups of muscles, bones, nerves and joints.

Because the fascia also wraps around joints and joint capsules, it highly contributes to optimal joint movement and nutrition.

Fascia binds some structures while allowing others to slide smoothly over each other.

It reduces friction to minimize the force put on muscles- that is, it can be thought of as coating muscle for smoother movement.

Fascia can be very elastic (such as the skin covering your elbow) to allow appropriate stretching of skin over a joint. Think of how the skin covering your elbow stretches as you bend your elbow and gathers as you straighten your arm.

HOW DOES FASCIAL DYSFUNCTION CONTRIBUTE TO PAIN AND TIGHTNESS?

• Because fascia wraps around joints, restricted fascia can reduce joint space, decreasing the space between bones thereby causing increased friction. This can lead to degenerative joint conditions as osteoarthritis as well as pain. Reduced joint mobility can lead to overactive muscles which can lead to trigger points, strains, tendonitis and muscle tears.

• Impaired mobility, overexertion, and stiffness can cause muscles and connective tissue to “stick” to one another. When structures stick to one another, they reduce the proper flow of blood and increase compression on nerves. Therefore, muscles lack proper circulation and nutrition causing an increased sensation of tightness.

• After a fracture or with restricted movement, the fascia has less opportunity to stay moving, which it needs to remain porous and healthy. Restricted fascial movement also then leads to increased scar tissue formation and reduced tissue mobility.

• Fascia does not only wrap around muscles, bones and blood vessels, but also around nerves. Connective tissue restriction around nerves mean less back and forth glide of nerves which can lead to over activity of muscles around the nerves and when this occurs in areas as neck and low back muscles, then one may experience headaches, muscle tightness, muscles knots and pain.

• Pain uses up precious energy! Restricted fascial movement, joint capsule tightness and mobility can highly contribute to pain. With improved mobility, the perception of pain can reduce and give you back much needed energy reserves.

**Permission has been granted by the Stretch To Win Institute to use the trademark Fascial Stretch Therapy (TM) or FST(TM) as long as certification is maintained in good standing. For more information about FST(TM) please visit www.stretchtowin.com.