Skip to Main Content

Anatomy Overview

Favorite Table | Download (.pdf) | Print
MUSCLE ACTIONS OF THE VERTEBRAL COLUMN (INTERVERTEBRAL AND CRANIOVERTEBRAL JOINTS)
TABLE KEY: Primary movers Secondary movers
Sagittal Plane Flexion Extension
 

Rectus abdominis

External oblique

Internal oblique

Sternocleidomastoid

Longus capitis

Longus colli

Anterior scalene

Rectus capitis anterior

Splenius cervicis/capitis

Iliocostalis group

Longissimus group

Semispinalis group

Multifidus

Rectus capitis posterior Major/Minor

Oblique capitis superior/inferior

Spinalis

Rotatores

Interspinalis

Intertransversarii

Levator scapulae

Trapezius

Quadratus lumborum

Transverse Plane Ipsilateral Rotation Contralateral Rotation
 

Splenius

Cervicis/Capitis

Internal oblique

Longissimus group

Iliocostalis group

Levator scapulae

External oblique sternocleidomastoid

Trapezius

Semispinalis capitis/cervicis

Rotatores

Multifidus

Frontal Plane Lateral Flexion  
 

Iliocostalis group

Internal oblique

External oblique

Semispinalis group

Longissimus group

Trapezius

Multifidi

Intertransversarii

Quadratus lumborum

Splenius capitis/cervicis

Scalenes

Levator scapulae

Sternocleidomastoid

 

Favorite Table | Download (.pdf) | Print
...
VERTEBRAL COLUMN MUSCLE ATTACHMENTS
Muscles Proximal Attachment Distal Attachment
Splenius capitis Nuchal ligament and spinous processes of C7–T6 vertebrae Fibers run superolaterally to mastoid process of temporal bone and lateral third of superior nuchal line of occipital bone
Splenius cervicis Nuchal ligament and spinous processes of C7–T6 vertebrae Transverse processes of C1–C3 vertebrae
Iliocostalis (erector spinae) Arises by a broad tendon from posterior part of iliac crest, posterior surface of sacrum, sacroiliac ligaments, sacral and inferior lumbar spinous processes, and supraspinous ligament Lumborum, thoracis, cervicis; fibers run superiorly to angles of lower ribs and cervical transverse processes
Longissimus (erector spinae) Thoracis, cervicis, capitis; fibers run superiorly to ribs between tubercles and angles, to transverse processes in thoracic and cervical regions, and to mastoid processes of temporal bone
Spinalis (erector spinae)   Thoracis, cervicis, capitis; fibers run superiorly to spinous processes in the upper thoracic region and to cranium
Semispinalis (transversospinalis) Transverse processes of C4–T12 vertebrae Thoracis, cervicis, capitis; fibers run superomedially to occipital bone and spinous processes in thoracic and cervical regions, spanning 4–6 segments
Multifidus (transversospinalis) Arises from posterior sacrum, PSIS of ilium, aponeurosis of erector spinae, sacroiliac ligaments, mammillary processes of lumbar vertebrae, transverse processes of T1–T3, articular processes of C4–C7 Thickest in lumbar region; fibers pass obliquely superomedially to entire length of spinous processes, spanning 2–4 segments
Rotatores: brevis and longus (transversospinalis) Arise from transverse processes of vertebrae; best developed in thoracic region Fibers pass superomedially to attach to spinous process of vertebra immediately (brevis) or 2 segments (longus) superior
Interspinalis Superior surfaces of spinous processes of cervical and lumbar vertebrae Inferior surface of spinous process of vertebra of proximal attachment
Intertransversarii Transverse processes of cervical and lumbar vertebrae Transverse processes of adjacent vertebrae
Quadratus lumborum Medial half of inferior border of 12th ribs and lumbar transverse processes Iliolumbar ligament and lip of iliac crest
Trapezius Medial third of superior nuchal line, external occipital protuberance, nuchal ligament, spinous processes of C7–T12 vertebrae Lateral third of clavicle, acromion, and spine of scapula
Levator scapula Transverse processes of C1–C4 vertebrae Superior aspect of medial border of the scapula
Anterior scalene

Pop-up div Successfully Displayed

This div only appears when the trigger link is hovered over. Otherwise it is hidden from view.