Myofascial Chains According to Busquet

Busquet describes five chains on the trunk that run into the extremities:

• Static posterior chain

• Flexion chain or straight anterior chain

• Extension chain or straight posterior chain

• Diagonal posterior chain or "opening chain"

• Diagonal anterior chain or "closing chain"

The Static Posterior Chain (Fig. 2.11)

When standing, gravity tends to top the upper body forward. The body counteracts this with two passive (that is, using little energy) mechanisms. These are, on the one hand, the pleural and peritoneal spaces that exert an expansive power and, on the other hand, a ligamentous and fascial chain from the frontal bone to the sacrum.

Fig. 2.11 a, b Static posterior chain according to Busquet.

Fig. 2.10a, b "Closing tendency" (curling in) during support-seeking processes and spasms in the abdomen.

Muscle Chains

Fig. 2.12a-c Flexion chain, or straight anterior chain, according to Busquet.

Flexio Trunci

Fig. 2.12a-c Flexion chain, or straight anterior chain, according to Busquet.

On the other extremities, it continues on the outside of the legs all the way to the feet. This is for good reason: during walking, gravity tends to tip the body weight toward the leg in the swinging phase.

Note: An alternative explanation for these facts is offered by evolutionary history. In the course of evolution, an internal rotation of the lower (back) extremities occurred, which caused the dorsal muscles of the leg to be positioned laterally. As part of this process, the knees and feet shifted so that their motion plane was oriented toward the locomotion plane. As a result, the dorsal structures of the leg shifted outward. Hence, evolutionary history demonstrates here how structure adapted to function. The static posterior chain consists of the following structures, from cranial to caudal positions:

• Falx cerebri and cerebelli

• Ligaments of the vertebral arch

• Thoracolumbar fascia

• Sacrotuberal and spinal ligament

• Fascia of the piriformis and obturator muscles

• Tensor fasciae latae

• Fibula and interosseous membrane

Plantar fascia

Flexion Chain or Straight Anterior Chain

Busquet assigns the following roles to this chain:

• Global kyphosis of the trunk

• Physical and psychological "curling up"

• Introversion

It is composed of the following muscles: On the Trunk

• The anterior intercostal muscles

• Rectus abdominis

• Pelvic floor muscles

Connection to the Shoulder Blade

• Transversus thoracis

• Pectoralis minor

• Pars descendens of the trapezius (connects to the spinal column)

Connection to the Upper Arm

• Pectoralis major

• Rhomboidei

Connection to the Cervical Spine

• Splenius colli

Connection to the Head

• Subclavius

• Splenius capitis

Connection to the Lower Extremity

On the Upper Extremity

According to Busquet, the upper extremity does not follow the standard reversal between flexion and extension. The flexor chains of the upper extremity hence consist of the anterior muscles:

• Anterior part of the deltoideus

• Coracobrachialis

• Biceps brachialis

• Brachialis

• Hand and finger flexors On the Lower Extremity

The following movements result from an activation of the flexor chain in the leg:

• Backward rotation of the ilium

• Dorsal extension in the ankle joint

• Increase of the foot arch

The flexor chain of the leg consists of the following muscles:

Backward Rotation of the Ilium

• Rectus abdominis

• Semimembranosus

• Flexor digiti minimi brevis

• Lumbricales

Extension Chain or Straight Posterior Chain

The extension chain has the following functions:

• Global lordosis of the trunk

• Opening outward

• Communicating with the surroundings

It is composed of the following elements:

On the Trunk Deep Plane

• Autochthonous muscles

• Erector trunci

• Iliocostal part of the quadratus lumborum Median Plane

' Superior and inferior posterior serratus muscles

Connection to the Shoulder Blade

• Pars horizontalis and descendens of the trapezius

• Pectoralis minor

• Transverses thoracis

Fascial ChainsTrapezius Ascendens

Hip Flexion

• Internal and external obturators

Knee Flexion

• Semimembranosus

Dorsal Extension of the Foot

• Extensor digitorum longus

Plantar Flexion of the Toes and Increase of the Foot Arch

• Quadratus plantae

• Flexor hallucis brevis

Fig. 2.13a, b Extension chain, or straight posterior chain, according to Busquet.

Connection to the Arm

• Latissimus dorsi

• Pectoralis major

Connection to the Cervical Spine

• Splenius colli

• Spinotransversal paravertebral muscles

Connection to the Head

• Splenius capitis

• Pars ascendens of the trapezius

Connection to the Lower Extremity

• Gluteus maximus

On the Upper Extremity

The extensors of the upper extremity are the posterior muscles:

• Posterior part of the deltoideus

• Triceps brachii

• Hand and finger extensors

On the Lower Extremity

The extensor chain turns the ilium forward, extends the hip and knee, makes a plantar flexion in the ankle joint, and lowers the foot arch.

Ilium Rotation Forward

• Quadratus lumborum

• Rectus femoris

Hip Extension

• Gluteus maximus

• Quadratus femoris

Knee Extension

• Vastus intermedius of the quadriceps

• Plantar flexion of the foot

Extension of the Forefoot

• Flexor digitorum brevis

Extension of the Toes

• Interossei muscles

• Extensor digitorum brevis

• Extensor hallucis brevis

The Diagonal Posterior Chain or "Opening Chain" (Fig. 2.14)

The diagonal chains facilitate torsion of the trunk. The anterior diagonal chains cause a forward torsion, and the posterior ones a backward torsion. When both ventral diagonal chains dominate, the shoulders and both iliac bones are pulled forward medially. Both dorsal diagonal chains pull the shoulders and iliac bones backward. In the lower extremities, they have a similar effect.

The dorsal diagonal chains cause abduction and external rotation in the leg, while the anterior diagonal chains cause adduction and internal rotation of the legs.

Composition of the posterior diagonal chain:

Note: Busquet names the diagonal chains according to their origin at the ilium. The right diagonal chain connects the right ilium to the left shouiderl

Right Diagonal Opening Chain On the Trunk

• Iliolumbar fibers of the right paravertebral muscles

• Iliolumbar fibers of the right quadratus lumborum

• Iliocostal fibers of the left quadratus lumborum

• Left internal intercostal muscles

• Left inferior posterior serratus

Connection to the Left Shoulder

• Pars ascendens of the left trapezius

• Left pectoralis minor

• Left transversus thoracis

Connection to the Left Arm

• Left latissimus dorsi

• Left teres major

• Left pectoralis major

Connection to the Cervical Spine

• Left splenius colli

• Left scaleni muscles

Connection to the Head

• Left splenius capitis

• Left trapezius

Myofascial Chain System
Fig. 2.14a-e Diagonal posterior chain, or opening chain, according to Busquet.

Connection to the Right Leg

• Superficial part of the gluteus maximus

In this chain, the ilium makes an outflare, the hip an ABD and external rotation, the knee a varus position, the foot a supination.

The following muscles of the lower extremity are involved:

Outflare of the Ilium

• Ischiococcygeus

• Gluteal muscles

Fig. 2.15a-c Diagonal anterior chain, or closing chain, according to Busquet.

Anterior ChainTrapezius Gluteus DiagonalMyofascial Chain Gluteus

Abduction and Outward Rotation of the Hip

• Piriformis

• Gluteus maximus and medius

Outward Rotation and Varus of the Knee

Biceps femoris

• Vastus lateralis

Varus of the Hindfoot and Supination

• Anterior tibialis

• Posterior tibialis

• Extensor hallucis longus

Diagonal Anterior Chain or "Closing Chain"

The left diagonal anterior chain serves as an example here (left ilium to right shoulder).

On the Trunk

• Deep plane: left obliquus internus

• Superficial plane: right obliquus externus

• Right external intercostal muscles

• Right posterior superior serratus

Connection to the Right Shoulder

• Right transversus thoracis

• Right pectoralis minor

• Pars ascendens of the right trapezius

• Right anterior serratus

• Right rhomboidei

Connection to the Right Arm

• Right pectoralis major

• Right teres major

• Right rhomboidei

Connection to the Cervical Spine

• Right scaleni muscles

• Left splenius colli

Connection to the Head

• Right subclavius

• Left splenius capitis

• Pars descendens of the left trapezius

Connection to the Lower Extremity

• Pyramidalis abdominis

Dominance of this muscle chain results in an inflare of the ilium, internal rotation and abduction of the hip, valgus of the knee and hindfoot, pronation of the foot, and bunion. The involved muscles are:

• Inflare of the ilium: obliquus internus

• Adduction and internal rotation of the femur: abductors, pectineus

Paul Chauffour: Le Lien Mécanique en Osteopathie (The Mechanical Link in Osteopathy) 25

• Inward rotation of the tibia: gracilis, semitendino-sus, medial vastus

• Valgus of the knee: lateral gastrocnemius

• Valgus of the calcaneus and pronation of the foot: peronei muscles, abductor digiti minimi, abductor hallucis longus

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Responses

  • Furuta
    What muscles are in the anterior chain?
    5 years ago
  • Marianne Kelly
    What are myofascial chains?
    3 years ago

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