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Fascia and Free Nerve Endings!

In every lecture-yes every, we mention free nerve endings. We say that the term “free nerve endings” is the common or layman’s version of what would more scientifically be called nociceptors or c-fibers, yet here we are, with a scientific article that is talking about free nerve endings. lol

Now even though our name has “fascia” in it, you will rarely hear us mention it. Why? Because we don’t really care about fascia in the way most therapists do.

Our main focus of fascia/connective tissue, is it’s innervation. To us-that is the start and finish, be all and end all of the discussion on fascia.

Wait…before you run, hear us out.

Our world is pain. Our goal; to eradicate, eliminate and stop it in its tracks. We are not alone, most therapists want this too, yet face it, both the medical system and manual therapy have failed at making much of a dent in it.

Yet maybe it’s because we have made a few(or millions) of mistakes when it comes to the consideration of pain.

The IASP definition of pain is  “an unpleasant sensory and emotional experience associated with, or resembling that associated with, actual or potential tissue damage”.

So just what are they talking about? Sensory-the noxious inputs into the nervous system and emotional how we “feel” about these inputs.

Where do these noxious inputs come from? Well there is only one source-the nociceptors, AKA free nerve endings.

So in our world, to treat the sensory portion of pain, treating the free nerve endings is in fact the only way to go because they are the problem.

And where do we find them?? Their highest concentration is in the fascia, so ultimately to treat pain-you need to treat the fascia, BUT…just not any fascia will do.

You see, free nerve endings are found in greater concentrations in certain fascial tissues in the body. By targeting these tissues, and the high concentrations of free nerve endings found within them we get more bang for our therapeutic efforts.

RAPID Therapists don’t rub on muscles, we don’t strip, we don’t effleurage. To us, muscles because of their low nociceptive innervation are a therapeutic waste of time.

If you’re not sure about this, bump your quad into the corner of a table, then  just tap your maleolus on the table leg. You now understand that certain tissue has more nociceptive input into your nervous system, and that muscle just isn’t it.

At RAPID we focus on the areas of highly concentrated nociceptors that are creating a noxious sensation and sensory input into the nervous system. Finding hot spots in these concentrated free nerve ending areas stops pain dead in its tracks. It’s a rather complicated process, but in the end going to the root of the problem vs a muted less innervated area offers us far more bang for our therapeutic efforts and brings a greater efficacy of our work in treating pain.

To learn more about free nerve endings concentrations in the body, check out this article.

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