Mechanical interaction between neighboring muscles in human upper limb: Evidence for epimuscular myofascial force transmission in humans

Yasuhide Yoshitake*, Daiki Uchida, Kosuke Hirata, Dean L. Mayfield, Hiroaki Kanehisa

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

12 Citations (Scopus)

Abstract

To confirm the existence of epimuscular myofascial force transmission in humans, this study examined if manipulating joint angle to stretch the muscle can alter the shear modulus of a resting adjacent muscle, and whether there are regional differences in this response. The biceps brachii (BB: manipulated muscle) and the brachialis (BRA: resting adjacent muscle) were deemed suitable for this study because they are neighboring, yet have independent tendons that insert onto different bones. In order to manipulate the muscle length of BB only, the forearm was passively set at supination, neutral, and pronation positions. For thirteen healthy young adult men, the shear modulus of BB and BRA was measured with shear-wave elastography at proximal and distal muscle regions for each forearm position and with the elbow joint angle at either 100° or 160°. At both muscle regions and both elbow positions, BB shear modulus increased as the forearm was rotated from a supinated to pronated position. Conversely, BRA shear modulus decreased as function of forearm position. The effect of forearm position on shear modulus was most pronounced in the distal muscle region when the elbow was at 160°. The observed alteration of shear modulus of the resting adjacent muscle indicates that epimuscular myofascial force transmission is present in the human upper limb. Consistent with this assertion, we found that the effect of muscle length on shear modulus in both muscles was region-dependent. Our results also suggest that epimuscular myofascial force transmission may be facilitated at stretched muscle lengths.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)150-155
Number of pages6
JournalJournal of Biomechanics
Volume74
DOIs
Publication statusPublished - 2018 Jun 6
Externally publishedYes

Keywords

  • Biceps brachii
  • Brachialis
  • Connective tissue
  • Passive force
  • Shear-wave elastography

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Biophysics
  • Orthopedics and Sports Medicine
  • Biomedical Engineering
  • Rehabilitation

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