Linea alba means "white line" in Latin.
The linea alba is a strip of tough connective tissue on the body's midline from pelvis to chest at the front of the abdomen.
The navel (belly button) lies on the linea alba.
As the lateral abdominal muscles wrap around the towards the anterior (front) of the abdomen they turn into sheets of tough connective tissue known as aponeuroses. The linea alba is created by these aponeuroses as they merge midline at the front of the abdomen.
Before these aponeuroses meet midline they form a sheath (a tunnel between the layers) on either side. Within these sheaths lie the rectus abdominis muscles (like ribbons in a tunnel).
The rectus abdominis muscles are the closest muscles to the linea alba, running either side of the linea alba from pelvis to chest. Focusing on activating the rectus abdominis muscles gives us the ability to sense the relative positioning of the linea alba.
The linea alba should be fully extendable and free to flex and rotate in all directions. This this possible when the body has a full range of natural movement.
The linea alba is our primary anatomical guide for body alignment and balance, connecting 3 of the 5 midline markers for alignment - the pubic symphysis, navel and xiphoid process of the sternum.
Working with the Base-Line muscles (the pelvic floor at the Base of the linea alba and the rectus abdominis muscles either side of our central Line) allows the position of the linea alba to be felt so we can judge our own state of body alignment and balance.
© Copyright Leigh Blyth BVM&S 2017-2021