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J Biomech. 2009 Jan 5;42(1):9-21. doi: 10.1016/j.jbiomech.2008.09.027. Epub 2008 Nov 29.

Epimuscular myofascial force transmission: a historical review and implications for new research. International Society of Biomechanics Muybridge Award Lecture, Taipei, 2007.

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  • 1Faculteit Bewegingswetenschappen, Vrije Universiteit, 1081 BTAmsterdam, The Netherlands.


Elements of what we call myofascial force transmission today have been on peoples mind for a long time, usually implicitly, sometimes quite explicitly. A lot is there to be learned from the history of our knowledge on muscle and movement. There is little doubt about the presence and effectiveness of the mechanism and pathways of epimuscular myofascial force transmission. However, we should learn much more about the exact conditions at which such transmission is not only of fundamental biomechanical interest, but also quantitatively so important that it has to be considered for its effects in health and disease. Even if the quantitative effects in terms of force would prove small, one should realize that this mechanism will change the principles of muscular function drastically. A new vision on functional anatomy, as well as the application of imaging techniques and 3-D reconstruction of in vivo muscle, will aid that process of increased quantitative understanding, despite usual limitations regarding the mechanics in such experiments. I expect it is fair to say that without understanding myofascial force transmission we will never be able to understand muscular function completely.

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