Does fascia — sheets and webs of connective tissue — have any properties that are relevant to healing and therapy? Are there good reasons to do manual therapy (massage particularly) that is “aimed” at fascia specifically? Fascia gets discussed in therapy offices a lot these days. It is supposedly the key to many a therapeutic puzzle, and is now routinely targeted by therapists of all kinds. Fascia is fashionable. But is fascia actually important in therapy? More than any other soft tissue?
This article questions fascia excitement from a scientific perspective.1 Fascia enthusiasts are rarely specific about why fascia matters, or how exactly “fascial work” can help people with common pain problems. They speak mainly about the complexity and ubiquity of fascia, as if those alone are good enough reasons to focus on fascia. Attempts to get more specific are usually sloppy. Poor clinical reasoning about fascia seems to be too common.