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ankle is ignored then, in time, uncoordinated movements can lead to arthritis, a broken meniscus, a deformation in the hip and so forth”.

What is the difference between this method and others?

“We don’t intervene directly on the painful joint. Treatment is carried out on the fascia, covering the muscle fibres, which has determined inflammation at the joint”.

How is this manipulation actually carried out?

“The characteristics of the specific body region have to be taken into account. For example, fingers or fingertips may be used to treat the neck region, whereas the elbow can be used for the trunk. Positions vary according to the depth of the fascia to be treated. In other regions, knuckles can be used, let us say in the lower part of the legs, or in the feet. Whenever resistance is detected in a well-defined point, that is, as indicated by the assessment process, then mobilising pressure applied in that point does not exceed ten minutes. Variable pressure is applied at differing angles. The aim is always to create localised heat to modify the density of the ground substance of the fascia, which is, as it sounds, the basic gel that holds the cells of

the fascia together. By restoring fluidity to this ground substance, it will help gliding between the muscles and the individual muscle fibres. In fact, physiological movement is impeded whenever this gliding component is lacking, and joint damage can occur. We can say that fascial manipulation has a sort of dissolving effect or, in scientific terms, it normalises the hydration of the ground substance. With this normalisation, an obvious improvement in muscular and articular function is achieved because the correct contraction of the muscular fibres allows for the ailing joint to recover its physiological range of movement”.

How long does the therapy last?

“Sessions are initially weekly and each session lasts about a half an hour in all. We need to understand perfectly where the precise point that is causing the pain is situated in order to have an effective result. Symptoms indicate the point requiring treatment without the need for X-rays. X-rays only show us the bones, the joint, and not the fascia. Our aim is to trace back to the cause of the blockage in the fascia, which is not visible with common X-rays. It can, however, be seen with Cat scans or RMI’s. Movement tests are always carried out prior to any treatment. For example, if a patient complains of backache then I will examine their ability to bend forward, sideways and to turn to each side, in order to evaluate how they move in the three spatial planes and from there I formulate a functional diagnosis of fascial


Interview with Luigi Stecco and Julie Ann Day / Terra Rosa E-mag No. 4, December 2009










Riflessioni anatomiche,

fisiologiche e



riabilitazione. (Milano, Italy) 1997 Apr; 30: 189-196.


Stecco C, Macchi V, Porzionato A,

Tiengo C, Parenti A, Gardi M, Artibani W, De Caro






Histotopographic study of the rectovaginal septum. Ital J Anat Embryol. (Firenze, Italy) 2005 Oct- Dec;110:247-54. Scapinelli R, Stecco C, Pozzuoli A, Porzionato A, Macchi V, De Caro R. The Lumbar Interspinous Ligaments in Humans: Anatomical Study and Review of the Literature. Cells tissues organs, (Basel, Switzerland) 2006 Sep; 183: 1-11 [IF 05: 1,645]. Stecco C, Porzionato A, Macchi V, Tiengo C, Parenti A, Aldegheri R, Delmas V and De Caro R. Histological characteristics of the deep fascia of the upper limb. Ital J Anat Embryol. (Firenze, Italy) 2006 Apr-Jun; 111 (2): 105-110. Stecco C, Gagey O, Macchi V, Porzionato A, De Caro R, Aldegheri R, Delmas V. Tendinous muscular insertions onto the deep fascia of the upper limb. First part: anatomical study. Morphologie 2007; 91: 29-37. Stecco C, Gagey O, Macchi V, Porzionato A, De Caro R, Aldegheri R, Delmas V. Anatomy of the deep fascia of the upper limb. Second part: study of innervation. Morphologie. 2007; 91: 38-43.

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