Thoracolumbar fascia does not influence proprioceptive signaling from lumbar paraspinal muscle spindles in the cat

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

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.

Publication types

  • Research Support, N.I.H., Extramural

MeSH terms

  • Animals
  • Cats / physiology*
  • Fascia / physiology
  • Lumbar Vertebrae / physiology*
  • Muscle Spindles / physiology*
  • Proprioception / physiology*
  • Signal Transduction / physiology
  • Thoracic Vertebrae / physiology