If you are paying attention in class, you'd know we often drop words like tendons and ligaments. Do you know what these words mean, and why they are important?
Connective tissue, as you can imagine, connects - but what exactly? Well, it connects and provides support for organs and tissues within your body. Bones, cartilage, blood, fat, tendons, ligaments, fascia - these are all different types of connective tissues.
For the purposes of fitness and stretching, let's focus on just 3:
TENDONS: usually attach muscles to bones. They are very strong, and they have to be - these guys take on the stress created by the contraction of the muscles. Together with muscles and bones, they create movement. We like to think of them as "elastic bands"
FUN FACTS ABOUT TENDONS:
- tendon injuries tend to stay in your body for a very long time, if not forever because they have less blood supply
- just like any other living tissue, can be affected by factors like hormones and nutrition
- the Achilles tendon is the strongest tendon in the body, and the most commonly known
LIGAMENTS: attach bones to bones at a joint. We like to think of ligaments as "band-aids", a form of protective tape that helps either permit or restrict movement depending on what your body needs more in that particular area
FUN FACTS ABOUT LIGAMENTS:
- there are white and yellow ligaments; white is rich in collagen, and yellow is rich in elastin
- most common ligament injuries come from playing sports
- some ligaments form "cuffs" or "capsules" around joints, others link the ends of bones together
FASCIA: continuing on with comparisons, this tissue is like a "spider web", living between each cell in your body and keeping/glueing everything together. This web is made of collagen and elastin, two words you've probably heard of and maybe even ingested in the form of supplements, as well as mucus
FUN FACTS ABOUT FASCIA:
- movement helps it stay hydrated & healthy
- contains nervous receptors which can be relaxed by rolling
- some people say fascia contains emotional responses/trauma. All the more reasons to roll!
Do you have any questions about connective tissue? Or do you know if any other fun facts?