Myofascial force transmisison between antagonistic rat lower limb muscles: effects of single muscle or muscle group lengthening

Hanneke J.M Meijer, Josina M. Rijkelijkhuizen, P.A.J.B.M. Huijing

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Effects of lengthening of the whole group of anterior crural muscles (tibialis anterior and extensor hallucis longus muscles (TA + EHL) and extensor digitorum longus (EDL)) on myofascial interaction between synergistic EDL and TA + EHL muscles, and on myofascial force transmission between anterior crural and antagonistic peroneal muscles, were investigated. All muscles were either passive or maximally active. Peroneal muscles were kept at a constant muscle tendon complex length. Either EDL or all anterior crural muscles were lengthened so that effects of lengthening of TA + EHL could be analyzed. For both lengthening conditions, a significant difference in proximally and distally measured EDL passive and active forces, indicative of epimuscular myofascial force transmission, was present. However, added lengthening of TA + EHL significantly affected the magnitude of the active and passive load exerted on EDL. For the active condition, the direction of the epimuscular load on EDL was affected; at all muscle lengths a proximally directed load was exerted on EDL, which decreased at higher muscle lengths. Lengthening of anterior crural muscles caused a 26% decrease in peroneal active force. Extramuscular myofascial connections are thought to be the major contributor to the EDL proximo-distal active force difference. For antagonistic peroneal complex, the added distal lengthening of a synergistic muscle increases the effects of extramuscular myofascial force transmission.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)698-707
Number of pages10
JournalJournal of electromyography and kinesiology
Issue number6
Publication statusPublished - 2007


  • Peroneal muscles
  • Tibialis anterior muscle
  • IR-78856
  • Connective tissue
  • METIS-240691
  • Antagonistic musclesMyofascial force transmission
  • Myofascial force transmission
  • Extensor digitorum longus muscle
  • Antagonistic muscles


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