Myofascial force transmission between antagonistic rat lower limb muscles: Effects of single muscle or muscle group lengthening , 2007

Topics: fascia, myofascial force transmission, extensor digitorum longus muscle, tibialis anterior muscle, peroneal muscles, connective tissue, antagonistic muscles

Authors: Hanneke J M Meijer, Josina M Rijkelijkhuizen, Peter A Huijing


Effects of lengthening of the whole group of anterior crural muscles (tibialis anterior and extensor hallucis longus muscles (TA+EHL) and extensor digitorum longus (EDL)) on myofascial interaction between synergistic EDL and TA+EHL muscles, and on myofascial force transmission between anterior crural and antagonistic peroneal muscles, were investigated. All muscles were either passive or maximally active. Peroneal muscles were kept at a constant muscle tendon complex length. Either EDL or all anterior crural muscles were lengthened so that effects of lengthening of TA+EHL could be analyzed. For both lengthening conditions, a significant difference in proximally and distally measured EDL passive and active forces, indicative of epimuscular myofascial force transmission, was present. However, added lengthening of TA+EHL significantly affected the magnitude of the active and passive load exerted on EDL. For the active condition, the direction of the epimuscular load on EDL was affected; at all muscle lengths a proximally directed load was exerted on EDL, which decreased at higher muscle lengths. Lengthening of anterior crural muscles caused a 26% decrease in peroneal active force. Extramuscular myofascial connections are thought to be the major contributor to the EDL proximo-distal active force difference. For antagonistic peroneal complex, the added distal lengthening of a synergistic muscle increases the effects of extramuscular myofascial force transmission.

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