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Not to be confused with fassia, fuchsia, or fascism.
For other uses, see Fascia (disambiguation).
The rectus sheath, an example of a fascia.
Latin fascia
Precursor mesenchyme
Gray's p.376
MeSH D005205
Anatomical terminology

A fascia (/ˈfæʃə/, /ˈfæʃiə/; plural fasciae /ˈfæʃɨ.i/; adjective or fascial; from Latin: "band") is connective tissue fibers, primarily collagen, that form sheets or bands beneath the skin to attach, stabilize, enclose, and separate muscles and other internal organs.[1] Fasciae are classified according to their distinct layers, their functions and their anatomical location: superficial fascia, deep (or muscle) fascia, and visceral (or parietal) fascia.

Like ligaments, aponeuroses, and tendons, fasciae are dense regular connective tissues, containing closely packed bundles of collagen fibers oriented in a wavy pattern parallel to the direction of pull. Fasciae are consequently flexible structures able to resist great unidirectional tension forces until the wavy pattern of fibers has been straightened out by the pulling force. These collagen fibers are produced by the fibroblasts located within the fascia.[2]

Fasciae are similar to ligaments and tendons as they are all made of collagen except that ligaments join one bone to another bone, tendons join muscle to bone and fasciae surround muscles or other structures.


There exists some controversy about what structures are considered "fascia", and how fascia should be classified.[3] The two most common systems are:

NA 1983 TA 1997 Description Example
Superficial fascia (not considered fascia in this system) This is found in the subcutis in most regions of the body, blending with the reticular layer of the dermis.[4] Fascia of Scarpa
Deep fascia Fascia of muscles This is the dense fibrous connective tissue that interpenetrates and surrounds the muscles, bones, nerves and blood vessels of the body. Transversalis fascia
Visceral fascia Visceral fascia, parietal fascia This suspends the organs within their cavities and wraps them in layers of connective tissue membranes. Pericardium


Fasciae are normally thought of as passive structures that transmit mechanical tension generated by muscular activities or external forces throughout the body.

The function of muscle fasciae is to reduce friction to minimize the reduction of muscular force. In doing so, fasciae provide a supportive and movable wrapping for nerves and blood vessels as they pass through and between muscles.[5]

Clinical significance[edit]

A fasciotomy may be used to relieve compartment syndrome as a result of high pressure within an anatomical compartment created by fascia.

See also[edit]

This article uses anatomical terminology; for an overview, see anatomical terminology.


  1. ^ Marieb, Elaine Nicpon; Hoehn, Katja (2007). Human anatomy & physiology. Pearson Education. p. 133. ISBN 978-0-321-37294-9. 
  2. ^ Marieb, Elaine Nicpon; Hoehn, Katja (2007). Human anatomy & physiology. Pearson Education. p. 133. ISBN 978-0-321-37294-9. 
  3. ^ Committee on Anatomical Termi, Federative. Terminologia Anatomica: International Anatomical Terminology. Thieme Stuttgart. p. 33. ISBN 3-13-114361-4. 
  4. ^ Skandalakis, John E.; Skandalakis, P.N.; Skandalakis, L.J.; Skandalakis, J. (2002). Surgical Anatomy and Technique, 2nd Ed. Atlanta, GA: Springer. pp. 1–2. ISBN 0-387-98752-5. 
  5. ^ Faller, A.; Schuenke, M. (2004). The Human Body. Thieme Medical Publishers. p. 127. 

External links[edit]

Original courtesy of Wikipedia: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Fascia — Please support Wikipedia.
This page uses Creative Commons Licensed content from Wikipedia. A portion of the proceeds from advertising on Digplanet goes to supporting Wikipedia.
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Fascia Magnified 25x (Subtitled)

What used to be "intuited" can now be seen. In vivo living fascial tissue is now viewable. It IS fiber optics baby! Used by permission of Jean-Cleaude Guimbarteau.

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FTM 2014 June - Views of the living Fascia

To help our viewers understand the universality of the fascia we have looked at the complex connective tissue of a grapefruit followed by microendoscopic footage of living human fascia. Under...

German TV documentary on fascia (now with English voice track added)

This brilliant documentary was shown on German public TV in early 2013. It illuminates the different properties and functions of fascia (muscular connective tissue) in the body. It consists...

Gil Hedley: Fascia and stretching: The Fuzz Speech

The entire Integral Anatomy Series is available for viewing on YouTube. V1, pt. 1: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=K68kC9R7THc Here, Gil Hedley, Ph.D., of http://www.gilhedley.com gives a lesson...

Integral Anatomy V2 pt1: Deep Fascia and Muscle

I VERY HIGHLY RECOMMEND WATCHING SERIES IN ORDER: V1, pt. 1: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=K68kC9R7THc V1, pt. 2: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=fyltvc1lMTo V2, pt.

What is Fascia ? How does it relate to Yoga ?

Anatomy masters Stu Girling and David Keil speak about Fascia and its relation to Yoga. Watch the entire interview on Yoga Anatomy ...


Description by Real Bodywork.

A typical installation by The Fascia Division

See how we do it in just 4 minutes. Watch a full replacement installation of Fascias, Soffits and Guttering with eaves protection, bird guards, over fascia ventilation and gutter guards. http://ww...

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