Thursday, July 28, 2011

Fascia and the Locomotor Apparatus

What is the "Locomotor Apparatus"? It seems like a fancy word for the human body, but it is more appropriate than you think. Indeed, the human body performs thousands of distinct functions every second of every day of your life. Locomotion (movement) is only one specific function...but one that defines our everyday life and is undetachable from our very existence. Therefore, by definition, anything that regulates locomotion has an undeniable impact on our health and well-being.

One of the big pioneers in the scientific study of fascia is Jaap Van der Wal MD, PhD. He has been "on the fascia bandwagon" since the 80's and is one of the leading resources for the current scientific studie being implemented today. In his article "The Architecture of the Connective Tissue in the Musculoskeletal System" is a fascinating and equally relevant examination of the global implications of connective tissue "skeleton". In addition, it demonstrates that the traditional "anatomists" perception of human movement is somewhat primitive and is a simplistic attempt to explain a complex system.

There are some very enlightening points made in his article:

a) Connective tissue has separate paradoxical functions: It connects AND disconnects

Connection and Disconnection—Two Types
of Fasciae
This view of two types of connectivity is also applicable
to the anatomy of fasciae. In general, fasciae in
the musculoskeletal system exhibit two different mechanical
and functional types:
• There exist muscular fasciae adjacent to spaces
that are filled with loose areolar connective tissue
(“sliding tissue”) and, sometimes, adipose tissue.
They enable the sliding and gliding of muscles
(and tendons) against each other and against other
• There also exist intermuscular and epimysial fasciae
that serve as areas of insertion for neighboring
muscle fibers, which, in this way, can mechanically
reach a skeletal element via those fasciae
without necessarily being attached directly to the

b) Connective Tissue has 2 functional appearances:

Not Only Anatomy, but Also Architecture
In principle, only two kinds of forces have to be transmitted
over synovial joints between the articulating
elements in the locomotor apparatus: forces of compression
and of tension. Compression forces between
the articulating elements are transmitted via the articular
surfaces of the adjacent bone elements. The tractive
forces and mechanical stresses over the synovial joints
are assumed to be transmitted both by passive and by
active components in the musculoskeletal system. Regular
dense connective tissue structures such as ligaments
convey (transmit) those forces “passively.”

As with my previous post, this article is lengthy...but well worth the read. Consider it as another essential addition to your library!

The Architecture of the Connective Tissue in the Musculoskeletal System - An Often Overlooked Functional Pa...

1 comment:

  1. good reading, but i won't be having any beef or turkey jerky any time soon!