Many of you have experienced fascial symptoms before, like the burning of plantar fasciitis or the discomfort through your IT band.
The first instinct is, of course, to rub it.
Now, a bit of self-massage is not a bad thing. All pain that we experience is neurological in nature and sent out by our brain, and by stimulating the painful area with some massage, we're overriding the pain with our own self-made busy signal.
But let's remember that that's about as far as the effect will go. Rubbing the sore spot out will absolutely not break down muscle, adhesions, or scar tissue. It's not a thing that can happen. Please don't argue the fact. In fact, fascia itself is a static and passive tissue that neither contracts nor lengthens (much like ligaments).
So how do we treat fascial pain in the long term if we can't physically "loosen" it up?
Well, as you know, everything in the body is interconnected, and so, logically, that sore fascia connects to something. Your IT band originates from your hip muscles. Your plantar fascia is an extension of your calf and achilles. Those areas can be treated in the long term.
But still not just with a lacrosse ball.
Changes occur in the body due to its mechanics. If any particular muscle is putting undue stress upon the fascia, then there's a change in the way it moves that's required to alleviate it. Sure, rub out your calves, but they're tight in the first place because the hip muscles aren't working enough and making the calves put in overtime. It's when we address the way those relationships are occurring that we can see some long-term relief.