Superficial Back Line_Anatomy

Anatomy of the Superficial Back Myofascial Line

The Superficial Back Line (SBL) connects the posterior surface of the body, extending from the bottom of the foot to the forehead. The overall function of the Superficial Back Line is to move the back of the skull and the heel (calcaneus) toward one another, and is responsibility for balancing the forces originated in Superficial Front Line. Because we are born in a flexed position, we can say that the maturity of the Superficial Back Line is innately linked to the growth and progress of maturity, and affected by the physical evolution in our myofascial system.

Let’s Build the Superficial Back Line TOGETHER!!!

*Note: these landmarks and attachments site vary from person to person*

*We are all unique*

*These are our Gifts of Beauty*

Bony Landmarks of Superficial Back Line

  • Plantar Surface of Toe Phalanges
  • Calcaneus (heel)
  • Condyles of Femur
  • Ischial Tuberosity
  • Sacrum
  • Occipital Ridge
  • Frontal Bone

Muscular Landmarks of Superficial Back Line

  • Flexor Hallucis Brevis
  • Flexor Digitorum Brevis
  • Gastrocnemius
  • Soleus
  • Biceps Femoris
  • Semitendinosus
  • Semimembranosus
  • Spinalis
  • Longissimus
  • Iliocostalis


The Superficial Front Line

One of the first things to consider when thinking of the Superficial Front Line, is the observation of emotion. Notice, the emotion of saddness and how the human body tends to “curl” forward, literally onto or into the Superficial Front Line. This can be seen as a “recoiling” into the state of “protection.”

Superficial Front Line and Protection

In the womb we are curled into the Superficial Front Line, “protected” by the liquid, skin, fascia and energy of our mother. When we experience saddness, we have a tendency to “curl back” to this space, attempting to find comfort and “protection.”
This curling forward can present as “hanging” forward and down with a closed heart and a closed chect, which pulls at the Superficial Front Line concentrically loading it. The concentric load in the front will then cause an eccentric load on the Superficial Back Line. This has an adverse effect on breathing becuase it constricts the lungs and diaphragm.

Balancing the Energy through the Superficial Front Line

Although it is intuitive to curl into the Superficial Front Line when we feel sad or heart broken, it will not be the thing that helps us balance our energy. It is important to note that we must allow our bodies to process this sadness first. But when we are ready to move past it, after times of struggle, heartache, and depression, we want to move into supported heart openers. Start by making the heart openers small and subtle, easing your body gradually from a state of saddness into joy and gratitude. When your body is ready, you will easily shift. Contrastly when we feel happy and positive, we expose our Superficial Front Line. Open arms and heart to the world. We usually sit up straighter, taller, and feel longer. We are literally backbending during these times. This action eccentricaly loads the Superficial Front Line, lifting the front of our bodies, chest, heart and thoracic areas.


The second thing to notice for the Superficial Back Line disucssion, is the common imbalances of the Superficial Front vs Back Line. A great example is when someone’s head jets forward in a relaxed state.

When neck undergoes flexion, chin toward the chest, we concentrically load the Superficial Front Line. However, if we start to jet the head forward, the front line starts to lengthen around the anterior neck, but the suboccipital area of the back line starts to shorten. As you continue to lift the head, the length on the front line and the shortening of the back line are exaggerated, shortening the Sternocleidomastoid muscle (the SCM). What happens here is that the lower cervical spine is in flexion with upper cervical hyperextension. This head alignment is common in those with “hunchback” or “kyphosis.”
In yoga we see this forward flexion, upper neck hyperextension in Sphinx, Upward Facing Dog (Urdhva Dhanurasana), and just about every backbend or backbending opportunity. This is why full cervical extension with the engagement of the lower trapezius in backbends is curcial when thinking of ways to bring in Yoga Therapy into the practice.






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