Anatomy Slings: What are they? 

Anatomy Slings: What are they? 
Read Time5 Minutes, 30 Seconds

Anatomy Slings? The study of human structure – I learned it. Slings? Used in suspension therapies – See! I knew it also.

No….! You didn’t know it. It is not what you understood. That is why I came up with this article for you. Read till the end and learn the true picture of anatomy slings

Read Posterior Oblique Sling Here.

Theory of Human Motion by Serge Gracovetsky (1988)

The Spinal Engine: The theory by Serge reveals that quadruple amputees could “walk” on the bones at the base of their pelvises. He relates so while stating that spinal rotation and the muscle systems surrounding the lumbopelvic region can be at the base of human movement. Hence, the efficacy and coordination of these muscle systems are very substantial. Because the extremities simply intensify movement that initiates in the trunk and spine musculature. 

Anatomy Slings: Contribute as a large part of muscle systems and human’s ability to generate efficient dynamic movement. The occurrence of superficial muscle activity in synergy with deep muscles is noticed – act as an integral part of dynamic movement. Myofascial slings – another name common for anatomy slings, and they relate so closely to superficial muscle activity.

Vleeming takes the credit of describing Anatomy Slings. Myofascial is a term used to relate to the structures involved within a sling. 

Read Lateral Sling Here 

Anatomy Slings Structure:

These are not comprised of only one type of tissue.

  1. Muscles
  2. Fascia
  3. Ligaments

All the structures are working together to create stability and mobility. Well, it is a critical debate that how they connect and function together.

Force is produced when muscles contract, and it spreads beyond origin, insertion of the active muscle (prime mover – agonist). Within an anatomical sling, the forces are transmitted allowing production distant from the origin of the initial muscle contraction. It is termed as a force vector. Fascia connects the muscles present in a myofascial sling. It produces these force vectors that aids in the load transfer within the pelvis and lumbar spine. Depending on the change in force vectors needed for a competent dynamic movement, these muscles within a myofascial sling may overlap and interconnect with one another slings.

If a balance exists among force vectors, optimal alignment of the bones and joints is provided throughout the dynamic movement. But if are imbalanced, then altered tension in the myofascial slings is resulted and leads to malalignment. It potentially causes stability loss during static or dynamic tasks. 

Read Anterior Oblique Sling Here 

The body contains many anatomical slings

Yes! The body – a complex system made up of many of the anatomical slings. When slings work efficiently, you move better, systems produce more force, and create more speed. Though, sling sometimes carries a weak component that is not often addressed by clinicians under slings, but rather the muscles individually and a person’s general movement pattern. The clinicians are failing to recognize the integral role of anatomy, so is of great significance for clinicians to learn about it. Four important sling systems are defined in Diane Lee’s book, The Pelvic Girdle. She defined that these systems work together for load transfer through the pelvic/lumbar region. Poor performance or injury can result in due to dysfunction in any of these systems if there is a “hole” or weakness of a component in the systems. 


Stability in the Lumbo-Pelvic Region

The external environment doesn’t stay constant, sometimes temperatures changes and sometimes seasonal changes, etc. are subject to constantly changing demands of human bodies. It is a vital requirement of our body to retain the capability to cope up with the altering stresses to protect inner structures. 

During movements and variance in external demands, a key role in distributing load and maintaining stability is determined by the lumbopelvic complex. Enabling the transfer of forces to allow complex movement, without injury, is the primary function of the lumbopelvic complex. It carries out its functions while facilitating efficient repertory function. Your bony and soft tissue injuries are prevented. It also prevents vital structures like spinal cord injuries.  

What The Investigation Says:

An investigation took place in an in-vitro environment. It demonstrates that the human spine can withhold masses of nearly 90N before collapsing. Though, it is suggested in research that in physically active human beings, this load can meet up to 1500N. It indicates a heavy dependence upon other structures to provide the stability required to cope with the forces that the spine is subjected to in reality. The relationship among the sacrum, lumbar spine, and pelvis, besides their surrounding structures, is of significant value as is also fundamental to stability. Sacroiliac joint from closure refers to the contribution of the design and structure of pelvic anatomy to stability. As you read before, pelvic and spinal bony structures alone can’t deal with the forces the body is exposed to. Hence, other structures like ligaments, fascia, and muscles are vital to distribute forces across the region. This is defined as force closure of the sacroiliac joint. 


A Model explaining spine stability by Punjabi in 1992

Punjabi devised a model and showed 3 components. 

First component

  • Spinal column and its structural anatomy (describes using sacroiliac form closure theory)
  • Act as a passive stabilizer

Second Component 

  • The neural control unit is perceived as fundamental so to mediate responses to movement and adapt required spinal stability.

Third component 

  • Muscular system 
  • An active stabilizer consisting of global and local muscle units

Well, still there are different theories and defining different components contributing to spinal stability. Clinicians use core stabilization approaches to treat spinal region pain. Norris claimed that this perspective deemed more on intrinsic or bi-articular muscles as spinal primary stabilizers but sounds less attentive to global systems. 

The superficial and deep muscles of the pelvic region are encountering a complex system of co-contraction. It is studied under force closure stability mechanism – a significant broader approach.

The term ‘control’ embraces more capacity than ‘stability’ because it refers to the persistently altering influence of intrinsic and extrinsic muscles, and the ongoing mediation by the CNS (Central Nervous Systems). The CNS is capable to dampen some systems whilst exciting others and achieve functional control. Hence, to have greater mobility, stability is sacrificed. 

Your CNS act upon different strategies at its disposal and utilize them according to the need of stabilization, movement predictability, and bodily structure risks. For example, recruitment of intrinsic muscles while individuals anticipate movement. CNS will simulate type I fibers in multifidus, as to contract when postural change is predicted. Hence we can mark a different approach while viewing the more extrinsic and global musculature of the lumbopelvic area.


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