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Wednesday, March 22, 2017

Study Spotlight: How Much Time is Needed to Change Fascia?

By: Joel Luedke

Every Monday we post about mobility.  We don't always have it be foam rolling and it can be stretches but we wanted to dive deeper into the research of actually facilitating change with myofascial work.  We take a look at how long your really need to work on your tissues and those tight spots before you actually can get change.

What They Did:
In this study the researchers took 40 subjects with low back pain and utilized Fascial Manipulation technique in order to change the state of the fascia and 'release' it.  What the researchers were looking at is the time it took to modify a placatory sensation of fibrosis of the fascia in correlation with changes in levels of discomfort in the patient.

What They Found:
This was/is one of the first studies that took a look at this ability to change fascia via this form of measurement.  What they found was that the time required to modify an apparent fascial density differs in accordance with differences in characteristics of the subjects and of their symptoms.

The specific details were that the mean time to halve the pain was 3.24 minutes.  An interesting finding along with that is that subjects with symptoms that presented for less than 3 months ('sub-acute') the mean time was 2.58 minutes and for those patients with chronic pain it was 3.29.

What It All Means:
The results of this study show that the time required to affect change in fascia is somewhat significant.  As referenced above we talk about the minimal effective dose being between 1-2 minutes and that still might be true for tissue that isn't 'injured'.  The results very much bring to light though that you can't just roll back and forth over the foam roller and expect to create lasting change in the underlying fascia and tissues.  You may very well feel better after the rolling either with a stick or the foam roller but the changes are not lasting.

At some point to actually change what you're feeling and avoiding constant reoccurrence you have to spend some good time on a spot that requires it.  That can be working by just sitting on that spot or working very close to that area and using a 'contract/relax', rolling side to side or small oscillations over that tight spot.

Happy rolling and spend that time to resolve the issues.

Resource: How much time is required to modify a fascial fibrosis?
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