Fascia is a seamless, three-dimentional web of connective tissue that envelops every structure, muscle, bone, nerve and organ. Muscles are covered in this cling film like wrap.
It has pain receptors, is contractile, can tighten in response to poor posture, physical injury, inflammation, illness, dehydration, muscle weakness and emotional stress. This can lead to adhesions or restrictions in the fascial network, causing pain and decreased mobility. It is structural and according to new research is also a sophisticated communication system. Kind of important then.
There are 9 times more sensory nerve endings in your fascia than in muscles.
The brain will splint, bind or compress structures fascially if muscles in that area are not functioning normally, in an attempt to stabilise compromised joints, such as the hip, lower back, neck, shoulder, knee or ankle.
If your therapist randomly performs Myofascial Release (over-riding the fascial protective mechanism!) without consideration of the underlying neurologic reasons why things have become restricted and adhered in the first place, the brain/nervous system may have a WTF and tighten it up even more or be forced to adopt an alternative strategy elsewhere (pattern shift) so your symptoms can migrate.
It not always indicated to stretch short, tight muscles until you have actually tested to see if they are weak, strong or fascially stuck down. Stretching a neurally inhibited/weak muscle could make it even weaker or cause the muscle to rebound to protect itself. That's where NeuroKinetic Therapy is invaluable as an assessment tool.
Because fascia is like a body suit with directional lines of tension, symptoms can be felt elsewhere. Imagine pulling diagonally on the waist of a tight jumper - you might feel it in the opposite shoulder.