Research Review: Force Transmission Through the Thoracolumbar Fascia with Passive and Active Motion of Latissimus Dorsi

By Stefanie DiCarrado DPT, PT, NASM CPT & CES

Edited by Brent Brookbush DPT, PT, MS, PES, CES, CSCS, ACSM H/FS

Original Citation:

Carvalhais, VO., Ocarino, Jde M., Araújo, VL., Souza, TR., Silva, PL., Fonseca, ST.  (2012).  Myofascial force transmission between the latissimus dorsi and gluteus maximus muscles: An in vivo experiment. Journal of Biomechanics 46. 1003-1007 - ABSTRACT

Note the connection & fiber orientation of the latissimus doris, thoracolumbar fascia, and contralateral gluteus maximus

Why is this relevant?:

Past research has indicated force transmission can occur through fascia and affected muscle fibers within the same muscle, between muscles with a shared fascial connection, and between non-muscular tissue that shares a fascial connection (1,2,3,4).  The connections that allow for force transmission are commonly described as fascial trains, slings, or subsystems throughout the body.  The Posterior Oblique Subsystem (POS) is traditionally defined as the ipsilateral latissimus dorsi (LD), the thoracolumbar fascia (TLF), and the contralateral gluteus maximus (GMax).  Human movements such as walking, stair climbing, running, and hopping may rely on POS synergy where arm extension occurs simultaneously with contralateral leg extension. A better understanding of this synergy may imply interventions for increasing performance, rehabilitation, and therapeutic intervention for activities of daily living.

Study Summary

Study DesignExperimental Descriptive Study
Level of Evidence Level IIb: Evidence from a non experimental study
Subject Demographics

  • Age: 24.92 + 3.21 years
  • Gender: 22  female, 15 male
  • Characteristics:

    • Mass: 64.43 + 11.02 kg (mean)
    • Height: 1.69 + 0.09 m (mean)
  • Inclusion Criteria: 25° pain free hip internal / external rotation (IR/ER) without musculoskeletal injury in previous 6 months
  • Exclusion Criteria: Inability to relax