Understanding Fascial Manipulation
By Dr. David Cosman Chiropractor and Certified FM Practitioner (Level III Stecco Method)

March 2020


Fascia is connective tissue that covers and functionally connects and is important in coordinate segmental (sequenced joint, muscle & nerve acticvity). It also maintains the ideal shape of internal structures like lymphatics, organs, circulatory vessels & digestive tubes.  Modern fascia theory states that two important functions of fascia are as follows:


1.  Fascia is full of nerve endings that coordinate smooth timing and rhythm of muscle activity from one segment of the body to the other.  It's like the timing of the green traffic lights, allowing you to have a smooth drive, but if you hit traffic that is jammed at a flashing red light (where the lights are out of order), then the flow is interrupted, as happens with a "kink" in the shoulder when throwing a ball, without an apparent injury to the shoulder.  The fascia problem might be at a different segment in the body, and they can all compensate for each other.


2.  When you throw that ball, when you tighten your gluteal muscles just before you release the ball, the gluteals (and other muscles) traction down on the fascia that goes up your back and into the arm; it applies a compressive force that not only stabilizes the spine to contribute to accuracy, it also compresses the arm muscles to make them stronger.  The timing of your gluteal contraction allows for effective technique when you throw the ball. This can be taught and learned.


These two things account for efficiency or problems with walking, running, golf, tennis, or any other sport.


Assessment of fascia problems requires forming a hypothesis based on academic and practical knowledge of the specialized Stecco Method of Fascial Manipulation.  The fascia should slide or glide over it's muscle fibers.  Adhesions or "densifications" of fascia apparently inhibit it's smooth gliding nature.  This would not allow the nerves in the densified spot to  detecting activity of muscle contraction or stretching.  When a nerve stops detecting accurately, dysfunction and lack of coordination between body segments might occur, and this commonly occurs away from the area where the pain seems to be.


FM relies on a thorough history, dating back to childhood. Old adhesions can result in compensations many years later, because the body can adapt to problems, but sooner or later, if the body exhausts it's adaptive potential, pain can set in, signaling an old problem.


Fascial Manipulation addresses mysterious pains and dysfunctions ranging from ankle pain with no sprain, to chronic digestive problems, or an arthritis diagnosis without positive x-ray findings. Since internal organ and glandular fascia connects to fascia of muscles, internal systems can be dysfunctional if the fascia is pulling on your "insides" in an imbalanced fashion, 


Fascial Manipulation (Stecco Method) is designed to clear up the nervous system in the body's fascia, while chiropractic adjustments endeavor to clear up nervous system problems that originate from spinal joints.


The combination of Chiropractic & Fascial Manipulation is commonly administered in treatment plans.

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