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Recommended article – Anatomical study of myofascial continuity in the anterior region of the upper limb

January 11, 2011

Stecco A, Macchi V, Stecco C, Porzionato A, Day JA, Delmas V, De Carlo R.  Anatomical study of myofascial continuity in the anterior region of the upper limb.  Journal of Bodywork and Movement Therapies (2009), 13, 53-62.

In this study 15 unembalmed cadavers were dissected in order to study the anatomical continuity between various myofascial structures involved in the movement of flexion of the upper limb.  The study demonstrated the existence of specific myofascial expansions which originate from the flexor muscles and extend to the overlying fascia.  Specifically, the clavicular head of the pectoralis major sends a myofascial expansion to the anterior region of the brachial fascia; from the biceps then is the expansion of the lacerous fibrosis, oriented medially; and finally continuing into the palmaris longus which sends expansion to the fascia of the thenar group.

As is the main topic of discussion at Functional Range Release™ technique seminars, the anatomic continuity between myofascial structures must be considered when treating various pain syndromes.  As noted in this article, the fascia can perceive tension produced by a muscle due to its expansions, and can transmit it to a distance, informing the distal muscle about the state of contraction of the proximal muscle.  In addition, manual traction applied to the muscle bellies produces lines of force within the muscular fascia that mirror the same direction of the stretched muscular fibers.  Due the known presence of proprioceptive innervation in fascia, and its sensitivity to tension, the transmission of proprioceptive information is theorized to contribute significantly to the development of pain symptoms, alterations in motion, and changes in force transmission.


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