Fascia: Definition and What it is

Medically and clinically reviewed by Jonathan Lee, MD and Dylan Peterson, PT, DPT

Fascia Definition and Meaning

Fascia is a sheath of connective tissue, made up mostly of collagen, located throughout the body, and it supports every structure, including muscles, tendons, ligaments, joints, bones, tissues, nerves, and organs. Fascia is integral to the body's musculoskeletal health.

Function of Fascia

Fascia provides structural support and stability to muscles and tissues, minimizes friction, and facilitates movement and flexibility. By connecting various body parts, fascia ensures they function both independently and cohesively. Fascia is vital to the proper functioning of the circulatory and nervous systems. It contributes to the body's immune response and healing mechanisms. 

Fascia pain can occur if the connective tissue becomes tight or inflamed, leading to discomfort, reduced flexibility, and limited range of motion. Several conditions can affect the fascia, including:

  • Myofascial pain syndrome: Inflammation or tightness of sensitive points within the fascia, known as trigger points, can cause muscle and fascia pain.

  • Fascial adhesions: These are areas where fascia becomes stuck together, often due to injury, surgery, or immobility, restricting movement and causing pain.

  • Plantar fasciitis: This condition involves inflammation of the fascia at the bottom of the foot, particularly the band connecting the heel bone to the toes. It causes heel pain and stiffness.

  • Iliotibial (IT) band syndrome: When the iliotibial (IT) band, a band of fascia on the outside of the thigh, becomes tight or inflamed, it can often cause pain in the outer knee.

Fascia Pain: A Hinge Health Perspective

Fascia plays a crucial role in supporting and protecting all the structures of the body. It’s woven into every part of the body. As a result, it has to be incredibly resilient. It’s designed to recover from the kinds of issues that naturally can happen in the course of everyday activities or during exercise.

If you’re reluctant to move because you think you’ll cause more damage or injury to your fascia, know this: Movement is often the fastest way to healing. As our Hinge Health care team says, movement is medicine. Movement helps rehab the muscles, tendons, and ligaments that are surrounded by fascia by increasing blood flow, and gradually improving their strength and flexibility.

How Physical Therapy Can Help With Fascia Pain

Physical therapy offers a range of techniques that can help alleviate fascia pain. Although movement and targeted stretches are some of the best ways to help your body recover from pain, other strategies can help you cope with flares, such as various massage techniques. You can see a physical therapist in person or use a program like Hinge Health to access a PT via telehealth/video visit.

How Hinge Health Can Help You 

If you have joint or muscle pain that makes it hard to move, you can get the relief you’ve been looking for with Hinge Health’s online exercise therapy program.

The best part: You don’t have to leave your home because our program is digital. That means you can easily get the care you need through our app, when and where it works for you. 

Through our program, you’ll have access to therapeutic exercises and stretches for your condition. 

Additionally, you’ll have a personal care team to guide, support, and tailor our program to you. See if you qualify for Hinge Health and confirm free coverage through your employer or benefit plan here.

This article and its contents are provided for educational and informational purposes only and do not constitute medical advice or professional services specific to you or your medical condition.


  1. Bordoni, B., Mahabadi, N., & Varacallo, M. (2020). Anatomy, Fascia. PubMed; StatPearls Publishing. https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/books/NBK493232/ 

  2. Zügel, M., Maganaris, C. N., Wilke, J., Jurkat-Rott, K., Klingler, W., Wearing, S. C., Findley, T., Barbe, M. F., Steinacker, J. M., Vleeming, A., Bloch, W., Schleip, R., & Hodges, P. W. (2018). Fascial tissue research in sports medicine: from molecules to tissue adaptation, injury and diagnostics: consensus statement. British Journal of Sports Medicine, 52(23), 1497–1497. doi:10.1136/bjsports-2018-099308

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