This is a question I am often asked and is hard to answer quickly, as it is so many things inside the body and does so much. Sadly though, it is all too after overlooked and bypassed. This is one of the better explanations I have seen and there is a great video which helps even more.
In the simplest of terms, fascia is connective tissue.
Fascia is a fine fabric of soft connective tissue that forms a network throughout the entire body. It resides under the skin. It forms a sheath around muscles, as well as groups of muscles. It envelopes internal organs. It surrounds the brain, spine and peripheral nerves.
It’s a framework that protects muscles and organs. It’s a framework that provides the body with both stability and movement.
It’s the glue that holds us together.
Fascia is a three dimensional fabric of fibres and gel made of three main parts – collagen, elastin and “ground substance”.
The most predominant material is collagen. The collagen fibres are strong and form tightly woven bundles to create a fibrous tissue.
Elastin is a type of fibre that is able to stretch and recoil. This provides much of the stretchiness in some fascia, especially in areas like the skin, the ear and some ligaments.
Also key to the system is a watery gel referred to as “ground substance”. This material provides lubrication to the collagen fibres, as well as shock absorption (such synovial fluid in joint and bursa). It contains glycoaminoglycans, which includes a substance you may have heard of in skincare commercials – hyaluronic acid.