Is a fascial densification the same thing as fibrosis?

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Micro-Blog Post on Fascia

Is a fascial densification the same thing as fibrosis?

One proposed dysfunction of the fascial system is an alteration of loose connective tissue that may adversely affect the sliding motion of fascial layers, this may be due to age, trauma or inflammation. This alternation of loose connective tissue is described as a densification In The Functional Atlas of the Human Fascial System. Carla Stecco stresses that point that densifications are not the same thing as fibrosis. 

The different layers of the body contain viscous loose connective tissues that allow a gliding, sliding function, protecting sensitive neural structures, as well as facilitating pain-free, efficient movement and force transmission. Gliding function may be lost because of trauma, inflammation or aging, resulting in fibrosis, thickening, densification.
— Pavan et al 2014
  • Densification refers to an alteration of the loose connective tissue. Densification can involve an alteration in the quality of the components of loose connective tissue (adipose cells, glycosaminoglycans and hyaluronic acid) and an alteration in fascial viscosity. An increase in density affects the function of the deep fascia, by inpeding sliding of gliding of soft tissue structures.


  • Fibrosis is defined as an alteration of dense connective tissue, through the production and deposit of excessive collagen.

Recommended Resources

The last couple of months I have have been reviewing a lot of papers and books on the subject of the fascial system while preparing my blog post Does Fascia Release. If a massage therapists would like to get up to date with the latest research into the fascial system I recommend the following three articles

Klingler, W., Velders, M., Hoppe, K., Pedro, M., & Schleip, R. (2014). Clinical Relevance of Fascial Tissue and Dysfunctions. Curr Pain Headache Rep Current Pain and Headache Reports.

Kwong, E., & Findley, T. (2014). Fascia–Current knowledge and future directions in physiatry: Narrative review. Journal of Rehabilitation Research and Development J Rehabil Res Dev, 875-884.

Pavan, P., Stecco, A., Stern, R., & Stecco, C. (2014). Painful Connections: Densification Versus Fibrosis of Fascia. Curr Pain Headache Rep Current Pain and Headache Reports.