Not merely a protective packing organ? A review of fascia and its force transmission capacity, 2018

Topics: epimuscular; fascia; force transmission; myofascial chains

Authors: Jan Wilke, Robert Schleip, Can A. Yucesoy and Winfried Banzer


Recent research indicates that fascia is capable of changing its biomechanical properties. Moreover, as it links the skeletal muscles, forming a body wide network of multidirectional myofascial continuity, the classical conception of muscles as independent actuators has been challenged. Hence, the present synthesis review aims to characterize the mechanical relevance of the connective tissue for the locomotor system. Results of cadaveric and animal studies suggest a clinically relevant myofascial force transmission to neighboring structures within one limb (e.g., between synergists) and in the course of muscle fascia chains (e.g., between leg and trunk). Initial in vivo trials appear to underpin these findings, demonstrating the existence of nonlocal exercise effects. However, the factors influencing the amount of transmitted force (e.g., age and physical activity) remain controversial, as well as the role of the central nervous system within the context of the observed remote exercise effects.

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