Anatomy Trains – The Spiral Line

AnatomyTrains-The-Spiral-Line-Thomas-MyersMy clients are often intrigued by the ‘blue men’ displayed on the wall of my clinic. Those of you more familiar with massage and physical therapy will recognize these as illustrations from Thomas Myers’ Anatomy Trains. These ‘myofascial meridians’ show the fascial networks of the body and are very useful in seeing the body’s interconnectedness and helping guide clinical choices. They link individual muscles to functional complexes and guide a much more effective ‘whole body’ approach to movement and rehabilitation.

The five trains according to Myers are:

The Superficial Back Line

Plantar Fascia > Gastroc > Hamstrings > Sacrotuberous ligament > Thoracolumbarfascia > Erector Spinae > Nuchal Ligament > scalp fascia

The Superficial Front Line

Anterior compartment and periostium of the tibia > rectus femoris > rectus abdominus > Pectoralis/Sternalis fascia > SCM

The Lateral Line

Peroneal muscles > ITB > TFL/Glute max > External/Internal Oblique & deep QL > Internal/External intercostals > Splenius cervicis/iliocostalis cervis/SCM/Scalenes

The Spiral Line

Splenius Capitis > Rhomboids (opposite side to splenius capitis) > serratus anterior > External/internal oblique > TFL (opposite side of obliques) > ITB > Anterior tibialis > Peroneus longus > biceps femoris >sacrotuberous ligament > sacral fascia > erector spinae

The Deep Front Line

Posterior tibialis > interosseuos membrane > Knee capsule > adductor hiatus > intermuscular septum > femoral triangle > psoas > anterior longitudinal ligament > diaphragm > pericardium > mediastium > parietal pleura > fascia prevertebralis > scalenes

Back of the Arm Lines

1st tract
Trapezius > Deltoid > lateral intermuscular septum > common extensor tendon

2nd tract
Rhomboids > Infraspinatus > Triceps > Periostium of ulna to the small finger

3rd tract (stabilization)
Latissimus Dorsi > Thoracolumbar fascia > sacral fascia (opposite side of thoracolumbar fascia) > glute max (opposite side of thoracolumbar fascia) > vastus lateralis

Front of the Arm Lines

1st tract
latissimus dorsi/teres major/pectoralis major > medial intermuscular septum > medial epicondyle > common flexor tendon > palmar side of hand and fingers

2nd tract
Pec minor > biceps (short head)/coracobrachialis > radius > flexor compartment > thumb

3rd tract (stabilization)
Pec major > external oblique > adductor longus (opposite side of external oblique) > gracilis > pes anserine > tibial periostium

This video describes the Spiral Line. Think about how you walk; left leg goes forward as the right arm moves forward, and then the same on the opposite side. How does a cricketer bowl? He raises his right arm to throw as he digs in with his left leg. Do you have a hip and opposite shoulder problem? Spiral line connections might be an important piece of the puzzle. If you are looking for a therapy plan which treats not only the site of pain but looks at whole body movement and optimising strength and power throughout the body, then get in touch!

A Tour of the Spiral Line from AnatomyTrains on Vimeo.

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