Do you wonder why you always have a constant pain in your neck, shoulder, knee and ankle even though you always stretch yourself?
This is the time to check your abdomen tightness which could be the TENSION Generator in your body.
How can the tight abdomen cause pain in your neck or shoulder far away from the center? The answer is the FASCIA Chain in the body.
What is FASCIA?
Every muscle, nerve, artery and organ are surrounded by the wrap called “Fascia”. Fascia is a connective tissue surrounding every structure in human body. Even each cell is encased by fascia. So, through this Fascia system, human body is linked as one unit.
What is Fascial Chain?
Even though Fascia is connected throughout the entire human body, there are specific lines transmitting the tensile force. One of the most important fascia line is the deep front line fascia above.
Understanding this Fascia Chain is important in treatment because even if you release the local area, the tight fascia chain will return the symptom back with pulling force from the other spot.
Deep Front line fascia: neck – mediastinum (sternum) – diaphragm – linea alba (mid line of abdomen) – symphysis pubis
Lateral line fascia: Quadratus Lumborum – gluteus medius – iliotibial band (IT Band) – peroneal muscle group (lateral malleolus area)
Indication of Abdomen Fascia Release
1. Treatment effect does not last more than 1-2 days
2. Pain area is tender but not specifically movement related
3. When you palpate the fascia line, there is a severe tenderness or tightness
4. Moderate to severely limited trunk extension movement is indicating the Front line fascia tightness
5. When breathing, you need a conscious effort – diaphragm area fascia tightness
What happens if the abdomen fascia is getting tight?
1. Creating tension in the body
2. The local area such as neck, hand or ankle can have pain due to increased tension through the fascia chain
3. The Fascia tightness around diaphragm and ribs can limit breathing ability leading to the whole body stress and tenderness.
4. Posture gets worse with rounded shoulder, protruded chin since mid-line fascia is pulling down
5. Tight Fascia can decrease nerve conduction or blood circulation
How to Treat?
1. Manual Therapy – The fastest way to decrease fascia tightness is Myofascia Release. The practitioner should find out the key spot creating the main tension and release it.
In the upper abdomen, decreasing tightness around diaphragm has a significant effect in releasing tension in the shoulder and neck problem. It also restores breathing ability and circulation due to decreased tension.
In the lower abdomen, Myofascia release around the belly button area and psoas muscle area mid line fascia have an effect of decreasing tension and pain in lower back and legs.
2. Vibrocurssor – By using the vibration of the machine, we can release the fascia tension.
3. Stretching – Manual Therapy combined with the stretching program is fundamental to make fast progress. In order to release anterior fascia line, back should be bent backward.
3-1. Cobra – put your hands underneath your shoulders. Lift your chest and lock your elbows. Breath out and sag your back and buttocks. Feels the stretching in your back and abdomen. You can stay the position for 5 secs to 30 secs. Perform 5 – 10 repetitions several times in a day.
3-2. Laying on your back with your chest lifted on pillows/cushions. If you feel discomfort while doing this, put more pillows/cushions and make it higher. You can stay this position for 1 to 3 minutes and practice lower rib breathing or abdomen breathing.
3-3. Diaphragm and Rib breathing.
Put your one hand on your chest and the other hand on your stomach. Breathe in through your nose and expand your abdomen. Feel your abdomen is protruding forward against your hand.
Put your hands around your lower ribs. Breathe in through your nose and expand your lower ribs as if it is against your hands.
If the motion is limited due to tightness, keep practicing to increase the movement.
This breathing exercises can prevent abdomen fascia tightness as well as decrease whole body tension working with parasympathetic nerve system.