Fascia & The Ageing Knee

Fascia & The Ageing Knee

Everybody knows what a muscle and a bone is. Traditionally this is called the musculoskeletal system.

But right now, there is a new ground breaking way of looking at the anatomy of the body, how we move, why we get injured, how to fix injuries and how we age. It all comes down to something called FASCIA, or the neuromyofascial system.

This all sounds very technical and hopefully you haven’t mentally switched off, because the implications of learning about this system for your own health and well-being are huge!!

You probably already know what fascia is. Your Achilles tendon, the ITB, the plantar fascia in the foot, ligaments and tendons, bones and cartilage etc. But did you know that fascia is like a spiders web that is in every single part of your body, wrapped around every single cell in your body. It helps all the structures of the body slide and glide, allowing fluid movement.

It loves being hydrated, stretched and tensed then allowed to recoil and relax, being fed with nutrients and moved in spiral and rotational lines.

As we age, the fascial system starts to degenerate, losing it’s elasticity and hydration. All you need to do is look at how a child moves and then look at how a 50+ person moves to see how fascia degenerates.

Yes, there are other elements that come in to how healthy your knees are as you age, but the actual degeneration comes through this fascial system. The ligaments, tendons and cartilage of the knee joint start to “dry out” and become less elastic, and may start to fray or tear, leading to what gets called “degeneration”.

Or you might injure a structure of the knee and it never really repairs itself. Connective tissue or fascia doesn't have a high capacity for repairing itself, primarily because it doesn't have a rich blood supply like the muscles and bones do. 

We can’t stop the ageing process, but we can keep our fascia healthy, hydrated and elastic. This happens by shifting your mindset from not only getting your muscles strong, but getting your fascia fit at the same time and understanding that the body works as a system, not just in isolation.

If you have knee degeneration, you need to not only work on “strengthening the joint”, but strengthening your entire body and then supporting it with hydration and nutrition.

The role of fascia in movement is starting to be integrated in to Pilates movement. The principle of fascial fitness is now being widely accepted as a vital part of developing great movement capability, especially as we age. 


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