Are the Anatomy Trains Lines worth considering in sports massage?
Have you looked at the myofascial lines in your anatomy trains practice?
A systematic review by Wilke et al (2016) looked at all the evidence of the myofascial lines and if they are actual lines within the body (or Anatomy Trains if you are familiar with this work).
Wilke looked at six of the myofasical lines and they found:
- Strong evidence suggested that the superficial back line, the functional front line and functional back line exist
- Moderate evidence for the spiral line above the iliac crest and the lateral line below the iliac crest.
- No Evidence of the superficial front line.
In another systematic review by Wilke et al (2019) found that there is evidence of the myofascial chains in the upper limbs, which is an intriguing finding, but more research is required to consider the mechanics of these myofascial lines.
What does this mean?
As time has gone on research has been able to go deeper and look at the connections of the lines but also look at force transmission of the lines. Not all the lines were discussed in this article, including the deep front line which is a line associated with foot to core sequencing which is important for stabilisation.
Do we disregard anatomy trains lines in assessment and sports massage?
In my opinion no. There is still evidence on the relationship of tissues along some lines, and even though it is not an accurate road map, as massage therapists it can help build a picture of what may be going on when your client is presenting with pain. It is about working with your client as a person and not just a body part.
- Wilke, J., Krause, F., Vogt, L. and Banzer, W. (2016). What Is Evidence-Based About Myofascial Chains: A Systematic Review. Archives of Physical Medicine and Rehabilitation, 97(3), pp.454-461.
- Wilke, J. and Krause, F. (2019). Myofascial chains of the upper limb: A systematic review of anatomical studies. Clinical Anatomy.