The Fascial System in Musculoskeletal Function and Myofascial Pain

Kimia Grace Ganjaei, Jeremiah W. Ray, Brandee Waite, Kevin J. Burnham

Research output: Contribution to journalReview articlepeer-review


Purpose of Review: This article aims to discuss the structure and function of fascial systems and the potential role in myofascial pain syndromes. Recent Findings: New terminology differentiates anatomic structure (fascia) and function (fascial system), improving the conceptual framework and communication. Fascia has been shown to be innervated and biologically active and may have roles in nociception, proprioception, and myofascial force transmission. A number of factors may modify the function of fascial tissues through altering stiffness. A new cell type, “fasciacytes,” produces hyaluronic acid, a molecule critical to fascial lubrication. Fascial contribution to myofascial pain syndromes remains unclear, though plausible mechanisms connect them, and direct evidence of fascia-mediated pain exists. Current evidence is limited to support fascia-directed therapies for myofascial pain syndromes. Summary: Developing evidence implicates fascial tissue in musculoskeletal function and myofascial pain syndromes. Further investigation into fascial physiology and pathophysiology is needed to translate this knowledge into clinical care.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)364-372
Number of pages9
JournalCurrent Physical Medicine and Rehabilitation Reports
Issue number4
StatePublished - Dec 2020


  • Fascia
  • Function
  • Mechanotransduction
  • Myofascial
  • Pain
  • Proprioception

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Physical Therapy, Sports Therapy and Rehabilitation
  • Rehabilitation
  • Orthopedics and Sports Medicine
  • Medicine (miscellaneous)


Dive into the research topics of 'The Fascial System in Musculoskeletal Function and Myofascial Pain'. Together they form a unique fingerprint.

Cite this