Cellulite forms in the superficial fascia, a layer of connective tissue below the skin that contains fat cells. Superficial fascia is fibrous and due to inactivity, injuries, and improper exercise, adhesions (scar tissue) in the fascia can form contributing to the bunched-up or rippled look of the skin. Not only does the superficial fascia become more fibrous, thickened and coarse, less flexible, but it can also adhere to underlying structures that it normally slides over.
Some therapists are able to perform a type of massage called myofascial massage or myofascial release, which smoothes this layer of connective tissue and can apparently also help with some types of muscle and joint problems that are related to imbalances in the fascia.
For those of us who don’t have access to regular massage, it seems that using a deep tissue foam roller regularly can greatly help as well.