Fascial Manipulation© is a manual therapy method that has been developed by Luigi Stecco, an Italian physiotherapist from the north of Italy. This method has evolved over the last 40 years through study and practice in the treatment of a vast caseload of musculoskeletal problems. The mainstay of this manual method lies in the identification of a specific, localised area of the fascia in connection with a specific limited movement. Once a limited or painful movement is identified, a specific point on the fascia is implicated and, through the appropriate manipulation of this precise part of the fascia, movement can be restored. The focused treatment on the precise location is necessary to transform friction into heat (2 to 10 minutes) which modifies the consistency of the deep fascia’s extracellular matrix. The aim is to restore gliding between the endofascial collagen fibers, rupture adhesions between the layers of the deep fascia, and recreate the elasticity of the connective tissue of the epimyseum, perimyseum and endomyseum.
In simpler terms, you can think of the deep layers of fascia with hyaluronic acid between them much like two pieces of saran wrap with olive oil between them. If you placed your hand on the top piece of saran wrap you would be able to slide that piece over the other without issue. However, when you have a fascial densification it is more like having two pieces of saran wrap with elmer’s white glue in between them. If you tried to glide them on each other when it is glued they would stick to each other and would cause a “pulling or tearing” between the two layers. This is the same effect when the fascia is glued or densified together as it creates the same “pulling or tearing” between the fascial layers and is what causes the pain when you move. The treatments must be very specific and can take a while before the friction produces enough mechanical heat to “melt” the densification.