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Glossary of Torso Muscles

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Origin:
Splenius Capitis
(inferior attachment)
Fascia and spinous processes of seventh cervical and first four thoracic vertebrae
Insertion:
Splenius Capitis
(superior attachment)
Lateral one third of the superior nuchal line and the mastoid process of the temporal bone
Action:
Splenius Capitis
Extends and hyperextends the head. Contraction of only one side laterally flexes and rotates the head and neck.
Splenius means _______.
Bandage - the muscles seem to wrap around the deeper neck muscles.
Trigger Point:
Splenius Capitis
In the belly, close to the head
Referred Pain Pattern:
Splenius Capitis
To the top of the head and eye region (pain goes to behind eyes but not all around the head)
Synergists:
Splenius Capitis
- Splenius Cervicis
- Semispinalis Capitis
- Superior portion of trapezius
Antagonist:
Splenius Capitis
Sternocleidomastoid
Origin:
Splenius Cervicis
(inferior attachment)
Spinour processes of third through sixth thoracic vertebrae
Insertion:
Splenius Cervicis
(superior attachment)
Posterior tubercles of the transverse processes of the first three cervical vertebrae
Action:
Splenius Cervicis
The muscles extend and hyperextend the neck. Contraction of only one side laterally flexes and rotates the neck and head
Trigger points:
Splenius Cervicis
In the belly of the muscle and near the insertion.
Synergists:
Splenius Cervicis
- Splenius capitis
- Semispinalis capitis
- Superior portion of the trapezius
Antagonist:
Splenius Cervicis
- Rectus capitis anterior
- Sternocleidomastoid
Origin:
Erector Spinae/
Iliocostalis Cervicis
Angles of the third through sixth ribs
Insertion:
Erector Spinae/
Iliocostalis cervicis
Posterior tubercles of the transverse processes of the fourth through seventh cervical vertebrae
Action:
Erector Spinae/
Iliocostalis Cervicis
Extension, lateral flexion of the vertebral column
Origin:
Erector Spinae/
Iliocostalis Thoracis
Angles of the lower six ribs medial to the iliocostalis lumborum
Insertion
Erector Spinae/
Iliocostalis Thoracis
Superior border at the angles of the upper six ribs
Action:
Erector Spinae/
Iliocostalis Thoracis
Extension, lateral flexion of vertebral column
Origin:
Erector Spinae/
Iliocostalis Lumborum
Medial and lateral sacral crests and medial part of iliac crest
Insertion:
Erector Spinae/
Iliocostalis Lumborum
Angles of all ribs (depending on reference, varies from lower six to all ribs)
Synergists:
Erector Spinae/
Iliocostalis group
- longissimus, semispinalis, and spinalis groups
- quadratus lumborum
Angatonists:
Erector Spinae/
Iliocostalis group
Rectus Abdominus
Origin:
Erector Spinae/
Longissimus cervicis
Transverse processes of upper five thoracic vertebrae
Insertion:
Erector Spinae/
Longissimus cervicis
Posterior tubercles of the transverse processes of the second through sixth cervical vertebrae
Action:
Erector Spinae/
Longissimus cervicis
Extension and lateral flexion of vertebral column
Origin:
Erector Spinae/
Longissimus capitis
Transverse processes of upper five thoracic vertebrae and articular processes of lower four cervical vertebrae
Insertion:
Erector Spinae/
Longissimus Capitis
Posterior aspect of mastoid process of temporal bone
Action:
Erector Spinae/
Longissimus Capitis
Extends and rotates the head
Origin:
Erector Spinae/
Longissimus thoracis
Aponeurosis and transverse processes of the lumbar and lower thoracic vertebrae
Insertion:
Erector Spinae/
Longissimus thoracis
Transverse processes of all thoracic vertebrae and between tubercles and angles of lower ten ribs
Action:
Erector Spinae/
Longissimus thoracis
Extension and lateral flexion of vertebral column
Synergists:
Erector Spinae/
Longissimus group
- iliocostalis, semispinalis,and spinalis groups
Antagonists:
Erector Spinae/
Longissimus group
- rectus abdominus
Origin:
Erector Spinae/
Spinalis Capitis
Transverse processes of upper seven thoracic and articular processes of fourth through seventh cervical vertebrae
Insertion:
Erector Spinae/
Spinalis Capitis
Between superior and inferior nuchal lines of the occipital bone
Action:
Erector Spinae/
Spinalis Capitis
Extends the vertebral column
Origin:
Erector Spinae/
Spinalis Cervicis
Spinous processes of the lower two thoracic and upper two lumbar vertebrae
Insertion:
Erector Spinae/
Spinalis Cervicis
Spinous process of first and second cervical vertebrae
Action:
Erector Spinae/
Spinalis Cervicis
Extends the vertebral column
Insertion:
Erector Spinae/
Spinalis Cervicis
Spinous process of upper eight thoriacic vertebrae
Trigger Points:
Erector Spinae/
Spinalis Group
midscapular and lumbar region
Referred Pain Pattern:
Erector Spinae/
Spinalis group
To the scapular, lumbar, gluteal, and abdominal region
Synergists:
Erector Spinae/
Spinalis group
- longissimus, semispinalis, and iliocostalis group
Origin:
Quadratus Lumborum
Iliolumbar ligament and the posterior portion of the iliac crest
Insertion:
Quadratus Lumborum
Inferior border of last rib and the transverse processes of the first four lumbar vertebrae
Action:
Quadratus Lumborum
FLexes lumbar region of vertebral column laterally to the same side. Both muscles together stabilizes and extends the lumbar vertebrae and assists forced expiration
Trigger Points:
Quadratus Lumborum
Found laterally near the rib or iliac attachment
Referred Pain Pattern:
Quadratus Lumborum
Found in the gluteal and groin area and also in the sacroiliac joint and the greater trochanter (if trigger points are active, a cough or sneeze can cause severe pain in lower back)
Synergists:
Quadratus Lumborum
- Iliocostalis lumborum
- Longissimus Thoraicis
- Psoas major
Origin:
Serratus Posterior Superior
Lower portion of ligamentum nuchae and the spinour processes of the sixth and seventh cervical through the third thoracic vertebrae
Insertion:
Serratus Posterior Superior
Upper border and external surfaces of ribs two through five lateral to their angles
Action:
Serratus Posterior Superior
Assists in raising ribs during inspiration
Trigger points:
Serratus Posterior Superior
Under the scapula near the insertion of the muscle on the ribs
Referred Pain Pattern:
Serratus Posterior Superior
Under the upper portion of the scapula
Synergists:
Serratus Posterior Superior
- levatores costarum
- scalenus posterior
Origin:
Serratus Posterior Inferior
Spinous process of the last two thoracic and upper three lumbar vertebrae
Insertion:
Serratus Posterior Inferior
Inferior borders and outer surfaces of lower four ribs just lateral to the angles
Action:
Serratus Posterior Inferior
Depresses last four ribs

(somewhat controversial in light of recent studies showing no electromyographic activity during respiration)
Trigger Point:
Serratus Posterior Inferior
In the belly of the muscle near the eleventh rib.
Referred Pain Pattern:
Serratus Posterior Inferior
A nagging ache in the area of the muscle
Synergists:
Serratus Posterior Inferior
- internal intercostals
Antagonists:
Serratus Posterior Inferior
- external intercostals
- serratus posterior superior
Origin:
Diaphragm
First three lumbar vertebrae, lower six costal cartilages, and inner sufrace of xiphoid process of sternum
Insertion:
Diaphragm
Muscle fibers converge upward and inward to form the central tendon
Action:
Diaphragm
Flattens on contraction increasing the vertical dimensions of thorax
The most important muscle of inspriation
Diaphragm
Origin:
Rectus Abdominis
Crest of pubis and pubic symphysis
Insertion:
Rectus Abdominis
Cartilage of fifth, sixth, and seventh rib and xiphoid process of sternum
Action:
Rectus Abdominis
Compresses the abdominal cavity and flexes the vertebral column
Tendinous bands divide each _____ into four bellies.
Rectus
Trigger Points:
Rectus Abdominis
located in each belly near the linear alba
Synergists:
Rectus Abdominis
- external and internal obliques
- pyramidalis
Antagonist:
Rectus Abdominis
erector spinae group
Origin:
External Oblique
External surface of the lower eight ribs
Insertion:
External Oblique
Anterior part of iliac crest and by abdominal aponeurosis to linea alba
Action:
External Oblique
Compresses the abdominal cavity. Laterally flexes and rotates vertebral column. Both sides flex vertebral column anteriorly.
Synergists:
External Oblique
- rectus abdominis
- internal oblique
- psoas major
Antagonist:
External Oblique
Back muscles, especially erector spinae group
Origin:
Internal Oblique
Lateral half of inguinal ligament, anterior two thirds of the iliac crest, and thoracolumbar fascia
Insertion:
Internal Oblique
Upper fibers into cartilages of last three ribs, the remainder into the aponeurosis extending from the tenth costal cartilage to the pubic bone
Action:
Internal Oblique
Compresses abdominal contents, laterally bends and rotates vertebral column. It also aids the rectus abdominus in flexing vertebral column.
Important muscle in forced expiration, coughing, and sneezing; contraction squeezes abdominal contents
Internal Oblique
Synergists:
Internal Oblique
- external oblique
- rectus abdominis
Antagonist:
Internal Oblique
erector spinae
Origin:
Transverse Abdominal
Lateral part of inguinal ligamint, iliac crest, thoracolumbar fascia, and cartilage of lower six ribs
Insertion:
Transverse Abdominal
Abdominal aponeurosis to liea alba
Action:
Transverse Abdominal
Constricts the abdomen an dsupports the abdominal viscera
Innermost of the three abdominal muscle layers. Muscle fibers run horizontally instead of obliquely.
Transverse Abdominal

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