The framework of the human body is held together by a substance
known as fascia. This is a connective tissue which envelops the
muscles, nerves and blood vessels and which gives cohesion and
order to the myriad components of the body, It allows movement
between adjacent structures and reduces the effects of pressure
and friction. It is rich in nerve endings and has the ability to
contract and stretch elastically. It is used by the muscles in their
attachment to bones. Because of its many functions, fascia is a
vital component in the biomechanical (and biochemical) efficiency
of the body.
Postural, emotional and mechanical stress or injury can produce
changes in the fascia which may become chronic. A number of
other factors might produce changes in these tissues, including
infection, excessive heat or cold, allergic inflammatory reactions,
inherited factors and arthritic changes in joints. Thus, many
possible causes exist for changes in this all-pervasive soft tissue.
When such changes take place a varying degree of local tissue
tension and contraction is present and distinct localized areas
within these tissues become sensitive to pressure.
When pressure on such a sensitive point produces pain in an
area some distance from the point itself, then it is called a trigger
area or trigger point. The distant area of pain is known as the
referred area or the target area.
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