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J Bodyw Mov Ther. 2009 Jan;13(1):53-62. doi: 10.1016/j.jbmt.2007.04.009. Epub 2007 Jun 28.

Anatomical study of myofascial continuity in the anterior region of the upper limb.

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Physical Medicine and Rehabilitation Clinic, University of Padova, Italy.


Fifteen unembalmed cadavers were dissected in order to study the "anatomical continuity" between the various muscles involved in the movement of flexion of the upper limb. This study demonstrated the existence of specific myofascial expansions, with a nearly constant pattern, which originate from the flexor muscles and extend to the overlying fascia. The clavicular part of the pectoralis major sends a myofascial expansion, with a mean length of 3.6cm, to the anterior region of the brachial fascia, and the costal part sends one to the medial region of the brachial fascia (mean length: 6.8cm). The biceps brachii presents two expansions: the lacertus fibrosus, oriented medially, with a mean height of 4.7cm and a base of 1.9cm, and a second, less evident, longitudinal expansion (mean length: 4.5cm, mean width: 0.7cm). Lastly, the palmaris longus sends an expansion to the fascia overlying the thenar muscles (mean length: 1.6cm, mean width: 0.5cm). During flexion, as these muscles contract, the anterior portion of the brachial and antebrachial fascia is subject to tension. As the fascia is rich in proprioceptive nerve endings, it is hypothesized that this tension activates a specific pattern of receptors, contributing to perception of motor direction. If the muscular fascia is in a non-physiological state, these mechanisms are altered, and the proprioceptors in the fascia may be incorrectly activated, thus giving rise to many types of extra-articular pain.

[Indexed for MEDLINE]

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