Fascia is equally involved in every move
“I was immediately into this. The basic idea of Fasciawear sounded good and I immediately started to think about what could be done with it and how it could be tested,” says healthcare technology student Lauri Aitta about his thesis. Fasciawear is based on general physiological knowledge that when body movement is resisted, more motor units are activated. This can be seen, for example, as a change in the cerebral cortex area that innervates the movement in question.
Fasciawear had been already studied during the three-year product development with several methods. In his thesis Lauri focused on testing two different prototypes of Fasciawear with a pressure sensor mat designed for walking analysis, heart rate monitor and electromyography.
“The electric potential generated by the muscle, gives an indication about how the muscle is activated, for example, when moving the hand. Simplified, it could be said that the greater the peak in the electric potential, the better the muscle in question is activated, which is also reflected in the use of strength. The use of strength in most of the movements increased by 10-70%. The only muscle which showed decrease in strength use was tricep. This may be caused by the disproportionate dispersion of the resistance- and pulling power of the bicep and tricep of the prototype that was tested.”
A pressure sensor mat is a ten-meter-long mat that a person is asked to walk from one end to another. “It makes it possible to examine ankles pronation and supination, in other words, the position of the foot as well as the length of stride. Using this test I found out that Fasciawear corrects the position of the foot very well when walking. Neutral position is obtained much better compared to the reference images without Fasciawear. This effect is caused by the resistant bands in the suit, that are aligned with fasciae, which correct the posture and thus also the lowered arch of the foot.” Lauri Aitta describes the results of the pressure sensor mat test.
“In the heart rate test, the average heart rate increased somewhat because of the extra resistance of the suit. This was quite expected,” states Lauri. According to the results of the endurance tests, the rise in heart rate during the exercise was about ten beats per minute. The increase in heart rate indicates the increase in both performance and energy consumption. When the fascia network is resisted and thus burdened, the fibroblasts, i.e. connective tissue cells, tend to reorganize the collagen fibers of the network. As a result, fascia is continuously able to respond to the demands caused by external stimuli. In the absence of stimuli, the fascia network responses by weakening and becoming brittle.
“I wasn’t sure what to expect, so the test results surprised me. In this study, it was important to be able to standardize the situation in the gym. This way the paths of movement remained equal, and we could seclude the motions for particular muscle groups. Of course, when evaluating these results, a relatively small sample should be taken into account, which emphasizes the possible visibility of errors in the results. Generally I find the concept very good and innovative. Possibilities for further development are various but I don’t think this product should be segmented to a particular group too much. Fasciawear is suitable for rehabilitation, active sports and professional sports. Fascia network is equally involved in every move,” concludes Lauri.