Date of Award


Document Type

Scholarly Project

Degree Name

Master of Physical Therapy (MPT)


Physical Therapy

First Advisor

Thomas Mohr


Fascia; Musculoskeletal System


The function of fascia in the human body is poorly understood. This anatomical structure has not been given the clinical significance it may deserve. The purpose of this literature review is to provide a physiological explanation for physical therapy techniques that manipulate fascia. The review is designed to facilitate an understanding of the role of fascia in the' musculoskeletal system.

Physical therapists may deal with musculoskeletal system pathologies on a daily basis. In order for the therapist to utilize soft-tissue techniques, it is necessary to have a working knowledge of the involved structures. Anatomical material is presented to define the structure and function of fascia. However, it is equally important to understand the process of tissue healing as the fascia has the potential to become restricted during the healing process. Therefore, the stages of inflammation and repair are outlined.

Manual techniques like Myofascial Release are being used in the clinics to treat fascial restrictions. Many clinicians are claiming to have successful treatment techniques, yet they have very little scientific evidence to support their claims. Few articles dealing specifically with Myofascial Release have been published in professional journals. Case studies are the main type of literature available. There is a definite need for future research in this area. The case studies presented in this review used objective data and may provide future researchers with study designs upon which to build.