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. 2009 Oct;215(4):417-24.
doi: 10.1111/j.1469-7580.2009.01128.x. Epub 2009 Jul 22.

Thoracolumbar Fascia Does Not Influence Proprioceptive Signaling From Lumbar Paraspinal Muscle Spindles in the Cat

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Thoracolumbar Fascia Does Not Influence Proprioceptive Signaling From Lumbar Paraspinal Muscle Spindles in the Cat

Dong-Yuan Cao et al. J Anat. .
Free PMC article

Abstract

The thoracolumbar fascia attaches to the lumbar spinous processes and encloses the paraspinal muscles to form a muscle compartment. Because muscle spindles can respond to transverse forces applied at a muscle's surface, we were interested in the mechanical effects this fascia may have on proprioceptive signaling from lumbar paraspinal muscles during vertebral movement. The discharge of paraspinal muscle spindles at rest and in response to muscle history were investigated in the presence and absence of the thoracolumbar fascia in anesthetized cats. Muscle-history was induced by positioning the L(6) vertebra in conditioning directions that lengthened and shortened the paraspinal muscles. The vertebra was then returned to an intermediate position for testing the spindles. Neither resting discharge (P = 0.49) nor the effects of muscle history (P > 0.30) was significantly different with the fascia intact vs. removed. Our data showed that the thoracolumbar fascia did not influence proprioceptive signaling from lumbar paraspinal muscles spindles during small passive vertebral movements in cats. In addition, comparison of the transverse threshold pressures needed to stimulate our sample of muscle spindles in the cat with the thoracolumbar fascia compartmental pressures measured in humans during previous studies suggests that the thoracolumbar fascia likely does not affect proprioceptive signaling from lumbar paraspinal muscle spindles in humans.

Figures

Fig. 1
Fig. 1
Schematic of the experimental protocol and representative response (inset) of one spindle to three conditioning protocols in the cranial–caudal direction. Loading protocol shows the change in vertebral position relative to the reference position. Note that at the beginning of the static test, the vertebra was positioned identically for each of three protocols.
Fig. 2
Fig. 2
Difference in ΔMIF for the static test between conditions with the thoracolumbar fascia intact and removed. Each symbol represents the mean ± 95% confidence interval of 12 observations.
Fig. 4
Fig. 4
Time course of the dynamic test in 5% increments comparing history-dependent spindle responses with the thoracolumbar fascia intact vs. removed. Top panel represents hold-short conditioning and bottom panel represents hold-long conditioning. X-axis is normalized to the conditioning displacement used for each spindle (see Materials and methods). Velocity of displacement during the dynamic was same for all spindles (0.2 mm s−1).
Fig. 3
Fig. 3
Difference in ΔMF for the dynamic test between conditions with the thoracolumbar fascia intact and removed. Each symbol represents the mean ± 95% confidence interval of 12 observations.

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