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Comment la souplesse thoracique augmente-t’elle?

26/05/2019 | Musculation des pectoraux et Etudes Musculation

 

Effect of intercostal muscle contraction on rib motion in humans studied by finite element analysis
Guangzhi Zhang   japplphysiol.00995.2017

The effect of intercostal muscle contraction on generating rib motion has been investigated for a long time and is still controversial in physiology. This may be because of the complicated structure of the rib cage, making direct prediction of the relationship between intercostal muscle force and rib movement impossible. Finite element analysis is a useful tool that is good at solving complex structural mechanic problems.

In this study, we individually activated the intercostal muscle groups from the dorsal to ventral portions and obtained five different rib motions classified based on rib moving directions. We found that the ribs cannot only rigidly rotate around the spinal joint but also be deformed, particularly around the relatively soft costal cartilages, where the moment of muscle force for the rigid rotation is small. Although the intercostal muscles near the costal cartilages cannot generate a large moment to rotate the ribs, the muscles may still have a potential to deform the costal cartilages and contribute to the expansion and contraction of the rib cage based on the force-length relationship.

Our results also indicated that this potential is matched well with the special shape of the costal cartilages, which become progressively oblique in the caudal direction. Compared with the traditional explanation of rib motion, by additionally considering the effect from the tissue deformation, we found that the special structure of the ventral portion of the human rib cage could be of mechanical benefit to the intercostal muscles, generating inspiratory and expiratory rib motions.

NEW & NOTEWORTHY Compared with the traditional explanation of rib motion, additionally considering the effect from tissue deformation helps us understand the special structure of the ventral portion of the human rib cage, such that the costal cartilages progressively become oblique and the costochondral junction angles gradually change into nearly right angles from the upper to lower ribs, which could be of mechanical benefit to the intercostal muscles in the ventral portion, generating inspiratory and expiratory rib motions.

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