Know your Lateral Fascial Line; LFL


By Orla Magorrian, Head Physiotherapist at Functional Training Ireland



Superbowl Sunday is this weekend which is one of the great sporting occasions on the calendar even though most people may only be interested in the half- time entertainment! How the final two teams get there can be confusing, what with names like the NFL and the AFC.



Something that we need to understand however is your LFL- Lateral Fascial Line.





It is a strip of connective soft tissue that starts at the outside of the foot ( the 5th Meta- tarsal), travels up the outside of the leg ( Peroneii muscles, ITB) and the side of the hip before continuing up the side flank of the torso encompassing our rib muscles and ending at the side of the neck.



Restriction in one part of this line can result in symptoms elsewhere. Dave may have talked before to you about Pain source versus Pain Site before, it’s why in all our programs we foam roll and stretch at the start of every session, our job is to make you feel and move better.



It is common that our clients with shoulder dysfunction  have restriction over the rib cage area on the same side. We always include rib cage mobility work in our shoulder rehab programs. I’ll say it again you may have a sore shoulder but lack of mobility or strength elsewhere could be the culprit.




How does this happen?



Fascial restrictions generally happen from poor postural habits as opposed to a one- off injury event. If you work at a computer all day using a mouse you will subconsciously be ‘ collapsing ‘ onto that side. It might only be a drop to that side of a few millimetres, but it results in the tissue becoming restricted over time. If the restriction is enough it would even result in other lower body problems.





The Fix Is in!



 1) Easy Stretch (for during the day)


 Ensure hip bones are level. Arms folded overhead, lean to one side. Ensure you have tightened the Glut on the side you are leaning from, i.e. if leaning to the left, tighten the right glut as this will ‘anchor’ the LFL, progress into doing this in a stride position, rear glut tight, leaning to other side.







 2) Airplane stretch



Kneel on one knee, other leg outstretched straight out to side. Keep both your arms horizontal at shoulder level. Breathe in and on your “out” breathe drop arm to floor (same side as kneeling side). Ensure arms stay horizontal. Hold this position for a few breaths dropping further into the stretch each breath and moving top arm towards side of face.


On next out breath move all the way over to other side, hand will touch side of leg. Again hold for a few breaths trying to go further each exhale.




Let me know how you get on and leave a comment if you are stuck on anything as it can get confusing. – Orla







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