Quantitative analysis of gliding between subcutaneous tissue and the vastus lateralis – Influence of the dense connective tissue of the myofascia, 2020

Topics: Connective tissue; GLIDING; Particle image velocimetry.

Authors: Kengo Kawanishi and Shintarou Kudo


Introduction: The thickness of connective tissue has been shown to be associated with pain (Stecco et al., 2014). However, the relationship between fascial thickness and gliding remains unclear. In addition, the influence between gliding and the motion rhythm and limb position isn’t clear.

Method: A therapist moved patient’s lower leg at one of two constant rhythms (40 or 60bpm). Gliding of both the vastus lateralis (VL) muscle and subcutaneous (SC) tissue were recorded during knee motion using ultrasonography. Particle image velocimetry analysis software was adapted to create the flow velocity from echo imaging. Gliding was calculated using a coefficient of correlation from each flow velocity. Myofascial thickness and SC were measured using Image-J. The ratios of the loose connective tissue (LCT) and dense connective tissue (DCT) thickness to the total myofascial thickness were calculated. Repeated-measures two-way ANOVA was used to compare the two motion rhythms and three positions, with stepwise multiple regression analysis to analyze the predictors that influenced the gliding coefficient at each rhythm.

Results: Repeated-measures two-way ANOVA showed that the effect of rhythm was statistically significant, but the effect of position was not. At a 40 bpm rhythm, stepwise multiple regression analysis selected SC thickness and DCT thickness as significant factors, while at a 60 bpm rhythm, SC thickness and DCT ratio were selected.

Conclusion: This study revealed that increased thickness of DCT of the myofascia and SC resulted in decreased gliding between the VL and SC, demonstrating that gliding is related to fascial thickness. Motion rhythm influences gliding between tissues.

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