Healthcare and Medicine Reference
In-Depth Information
The Superficial
Front Line
Overview
tends to shift down, and the SBL tends to shift up in
response (Fig. 4.5).
The Superficial Front Line (SFL) (Fig. 4.1) connects the
entire anterior surface of the body from the top of the
feet to the side of the skull in two pieces - toes to
pelvis and pelvis to head (Fig. 4.2/Table 4.1) - which,
when the hip is extended as in standing, function as
one continuous line of integrated myofascia.
Movement function
The overall movement function of the SFL is to create
flexion of the trunk and hips, extension at the knee, and
dorsiflexion of the foot (Fig. 4.6). The SFL performs a
complex set of actions at the neck level, which comes
up for discussion below. The need to create sudden
and strong flexion movements at the various joints
requires that the muscular portion of the SFL contain a
higher proportion of fast-twitch muscle fibers. The inter-
play between the predominantly endurance-oriented
SBL and the quickly reactive SFL can be seen in the need
for contraction in one line when the other is stretched
(Fig. 4.7).
Postural function
The overall postural function of the SFL is to balance
the Superficial Back Line (SBL), and to provide
tensile support from the top to lift those parts of the
skeleton which extend forward of the gravity line -
the pubis, rib cage, and face. Myofascia of the SFL
also maintain the postural extension of the knee. The
muscles of the SFL stand ready to defend the soft
and sensitive parts that adorn the front surface of the
human body, and protect the viscera of the ventral cavity
(Fig. 4.3)
The SFL begins on the tops of the toes. By the
'everything-connects-to-everything-else' fascial princi-
ple, the SFL technically joins with the SBL through the
periostea around the tip of the toe phalanges, but there
is no discernible 'play' across this connection. Function-
ally these two Anatomy Trains lines oppose each other,
the SBL being responsible for flexing the toes, and the
SFL taking on the job of extending them, and so on up
the body. More practically, in postural terms, the dorsi-
flexors act to restrain the tibia-fibula complex from
moving too far back, and the plantarflexors prevent it
from leaning too far forward.
Sagittal postural balance (A-P balance) is primarily
maintained throughout the body by either an easy or a
tense relationship between these two lines (Fig. 4.4). In
the trunk and neck, however, the Deep Front Line must
be included to complete and complicate the equation
(see Fig. 3.38 and Ch. 9).
When the lines are considered as parts of fascial
planes, rather than as chains of contractile muscles, it is
worth noting that in by far the majority of cases, the SFL
The Superficial Front Line in detail
The tendons that originate on the top of the toes form
the beginning of the SFL. Moving up the foot, the SFL
picks up two additional tendons (Fig. 4.8). On the lateral
side, we get the peroneus tertius (if there is one) origi-
nating from the 5th metatarsal. From the medial side,
we find the tendon of the tibialis anterior from the 1st
metatarsal on the medial side of the foot. The SFL thus
includes both the short extensor muscles on the dorsum
of the foot and the long tendons from the lower leg.
General manual therapy considerations
As with the SBL, there are actually two SFLs, one just to
the right and one just to the left of the midline. Viewing
the client from the front will help assess differences
between the right and left sides of this line, though a
good first course of action in the majority of cases is to
resolve any general shortness in the SFL. Viewing the
client from the side reveals the state of balance between
the SFL and SBL, and gives a good indication of where
to open and lengthen the line in general.
The SFL, along with the SBL, mediates movement in
the sagittal plane. When it malfunctions it acts to create
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