Massage & Bodywork

May | June 2014

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I t p a y s t o b e A B M P C e r t i f i e d : w w w. a b m p . c o m / g o / c e r t i f i e d c e n t r a l 51 FUNCTIONAL ANATOMY education Palmaris Longus By Christy Cael The palmaris longus is a relatively slender, superficial muscle located centrally on the anterior forearm. It originates from the common flexor tendon on the medial epicondyle, forming a fusiform muscle belly between the flexor carpi radialis and flexor carpi ulnaris muscles. The structure of the palmaris longus is highly variable, but most commonly lies superficial to the flexor retinaculum at the wrist. The distal tendon anchors to the flexor retinaculum before fanning out into its insertion on the palmar aponeurosis. Similar to the platysma in the anterior neck, the palmaris longus inserts into soft tissue rather than bone. Because the palmaris longus is located centrally on the forearm, it does not abduct or adduct the wrist. The efforts of this muscle are focused on flexing the wrist and tensing the palmar fascia, a web of connective tissue that attaches to the base of the second to fifth metacarpals. This structure protects the underlying finger flexor tendons and secures the skin of the palm. When under tension, the palmar fascia helps close the hand. This function contributes to grasping and maintaining grip strength. Because of its origin on the medial epicondyle of the humerus, the palmaris longus contributes to elbow flexion; however, it is weak in this action compared to the biceps brachii, brachialis, and brachioradialis. It may contribute to joint stability when the elbow is near full extension. This type of motion is utilized in a golf swing, throwing motion, and overhead hitting activities. PALMARIS LONGUS Attachments • Origin: Medial epicondyle of the humerus • Insertion: Flexor retinaculum and palmar aponeurosis Actions • Tenses the palmar fascia • Flexes the wrist • Slightly flexes the elbow Innervation • Median nerve • C5–T1 Biceps brachii Brachialis Pronator teres Bicipital aponeurosis Flexor carpi radialis Palmaris longus Flexor carpi ulnaris Flexor digitorum superficialis Pronator quadratus Flexor retinaculum Palmar aponeurosis Pronator quadratus Extensor carpi radialis brevis Extensor carpi radialis longus Brachioradialis Brachialis

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