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J Can Chiropr Assoc. 2012 Sep;56(3):179-91.

Fascia: a morphological description and classification system based on a literature review.

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Canadian Memorial Chiropractic College, Department of Anatomy.


Fascia is virtually inseparable from all structures in the body and acts to create continuity amongst tissues to enhance function and support. In the past fascia has been difficult to study leading to ambiguities in nomenclature, which have only recently been addressed. Through review of the available literature, advances in fascia research were compiled, and issues related to terminology, descriptions, and clinical relevance of fascia were addressed. Our multimodal search strategy was conducted in Medline and PubMed databases, with other targeted searches in Google Scholar and by hand, utilizing reference lists and conference proceedings.IN AN EFFORT TO ORGANIZE NOMENCLATURE FOR FASCIAL STRUCTURES PROVIDED BY THE FEDERATIVE INTERNATIONAL COMMITTEE ON ANATOMICAL TERMINOLOGY (FICAT), WE DEVELOPED A FUNCTIONAL CLASSIFICATION SYSTEM WHICH INCLUDES FOUR CATEGORIES OF FASCIA: i) linking, ii) fascicular, iii) compression, and iv) separating fasciae. Each category was developed from descriptions in the literature on gross anatomy, histology, and biomechanics; the category names reflect the function of the fascia.An up-to-date definition of fascia is provided, as well as descriptions of its function and clinical features. Our classification demonstrates the use of internationally accepted terminology in an ontology which can improve understanding of major terms in each category of fascia.


anatomy; classification; connective tissue; fascia; histology; innervations; manual therapy; terminology


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