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The lumbar multifidus is characterised by larger type I muscle fibres compared to the erector spinaecle fibres compared to the erector spinae
Journal Contribution - Journal Article
The metabolic capacity of a muscle is one of the determinants of muscle function. Muscle fiber type characteristics give an indication about this metabolic capacity. Therefore it might be expected that the lumbar multifidus (MF) as a local stabilizer contains higher proportions of slow type I fibers, compared to the erector spinae (ES) as a global mobilizer. The aim of this study is to determine the muscle fiber characteristics of the ES and MF to provide insight into their structural and metabolic characteristics, and thereby the functional capacity of both muscles. Muscle fiber type characteristics in the ES and MF were investigated with an immunofluorescence staining of the myosin heavy chain isoforms. In both the ES and MF, type I muscle fibers are predominantly present. The cross-sectional area (CSA) of type I muscle fibers is significantly larger in the lumbar MF compared to the ES. However, the mean muscle fiber type percentage for type I was not significantly different, which resulted in an insignificant difference in relative cross-sectional area (RCSA) for type I. No significant differences were found for all other muscle fiber types. This may indicate that the MF displays muscle fiber type characteristics that tend to be more appropriate to maintain stability of the spine. However, because we could not demonstrate significant differences in RCSA between ES and MF, we cannot firmly state that there are functional differences between the ES an MF based only on structural characteristics.
Journal: Anatomy & Cell Biology