What does the ribcage have to do with neck pain?
It's safe to say it: I've become obsessed with fascial tissue. I just can't seem to get enough information about this amazing system, which supports our bodies in ways I hadn't realized before.
Here's a nugget that I find really cool: traditionally, we've approached anatomy in a reductionist way. We took knives to cadavers and sectioned out pieces of the body. We cut up muscles and bones and gave them names. When I studied for my training exams, I studied where muscles originate and insert on bones. Then I studied the actions those muscles had on bones. This led me to think of human movement in terms of mechanical leverage.
Our understanding of fascial tissue turns this idea on its head. Today we understand that fascial tissue supports the bones, muscles and organs. The tissue is so comprehensive in the body that when one part of the body moves, the entire fascial system responds to that movement.
This helps explain why you may hurt yourself in one area, yet feel pain in another. The fascial system, if continually stressed, will end up breaking at its weakest point.
Tom Myers, my new personal hero, as well as a body worker and author of Anatomy Trains: Myofascial Meridians for Manual & Movement Therapsits, explains how our fascial system responds to stress in this video about tensegrity. He's much more eloquent and knowledgeable than I am, so his video is definitely worth a look: