If you learned anatomy like most people, you briefly touched on fascia. In two quarters of gross anatomy education at a chiropractic college, I think the word fascia might have been used 3 or 4 times, usually when referring to a structure where the fascia couldn’t be separated from the underlying muscle tissue, such as plantar fascia.

There are many reasons why this happens, but a lot of it comes down to “this is the way it’s always been done.” The popularity of the muscles and organs in treatment of people is one of the biggest contributors.

In order to see the organs and the muscles, the fascia needs to be mostly removed. In doing so, we “make” the tendons and ligaments into separate structures.

All of the dominant anatomical diagrams didn’t focus on the fascial anatomy, so it didn’t make it into the general anatomy classes.

Up until about 15 years ago, imaging methods didn’t really reveal many interesting things about the fascia. Thanks to the work of Langevin, Huijing, and Stecco among others, fascia has started to experience a renaissance period. The scientific literature is starting to paint a better picture of what the fascial tissue is and why it’s important. It will take a while to trickle down into the general anatomical education.

This isn’t to say that people just recently started studying the fascia, it just wasn’t widely accepted as more than just the material that holds the muscles and organs in place. It’s now known that this is just a small role that fascia plays in the body.


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