Show Menu

Back Muscles Cheat Sheet (DRAFT) by

Back muscles or whatever

This is a draft cheat sheet. It is a work in progress and is not finished yet.


Rhomboid Major:
Orig­in: Supras­pin­atous ligament of the 2nd-5th Tx
Inse­rti­on: Medial border of the Scapula
Rhomboid Minor:
Orig­in: Lower Ligmentum Nuchae, Spinous Processes of 7th Cx - 1st Tx
Inse­rti­on: Medial end of the Spine of the Scapula
Nerve: Dorsal Scapula Nerve (C4-C5)
Acti­on: Scapular retraction and stabil­isation

Rhomboids palpation

- Deep to traps - rhomboid fibres feel more oblique


- SML C7-T5
- Upper traps can cause satellite Trps in Rhomboid Minor
- Causes a snapping Scapula

Serratus Posterior Superior

Orig­in: Aponeu­rosis of the nuchal ligament + SPs of 7th Cx vertebra and 2-3 Tx VB and their supras­pinus ligaments
Inse­rti­on: Upper borders and external surfaces of 2-5th Ribs
Nerve: 2-5th Interc­ostal nerves
Acti­on: Elevation of the ribs - respir­ation

Serratus Posterior Superior - Palpation

- Pt's arm off bench (draws scapula laterally)
- Deep to rhomboids, ask patient to inhale


- T1-T4 SML
- Lying on a tennis ball over inters­capular region with arms across chest
- Mimics C8-T1 Radioc­ulo­pathy
- Aggravated by breath­ing­/co­ughing

Serratus Posterior Inferior

Orig­in: SP of the lower 2 Tx and upper 2/3 Lx and their supras­pin­atous ligaments (apone­urosis)
Inse­rti­on: Outer surfaces of the lower 4 ribs
Nerve: Ventral Rami 9th-12th Tx spinal nerves
Acti­on: Accessory muscles of respir­ation

Serratus Posterior Inferior - Palpation

- Bottom of rib cage
- Pt exhales


- T/L SML + Manipu­lable Lesions of lower 4 ribs

Ilioco­stalis + Longis­simus Thoracis

Longis­simus and Ilioco­stalis

Orig­in: Fascicles attach to sites that are in relation to the ribs
Ilio­cos­talis Cervic­is: Posterior Tubercles of the 4-6th Cx
Inse­rti­on: 3rd-6th ribs
Ilio­cos­talis Thoracis
Orig­in: TVPs of 7th Cx VB and superior borders of the angles of the upper 6 ribs
Inse­rti­on: Upper borders of the angles of lower six ribs
Ilio­cos­talis Lumbor­um:
Lumbar: Orig­in: First four Lx TVP and posterior surface of middle layer of thorac­olumbar fascia
Inse­rti­on: Medial end of the iliac crest and dorsal segment of iliac crest, L4 and L1 fascicle
Thor­acic Orig­in: Lower eight/nine ribs
Inse­rti­on: Medial and dorsal end of iliac crest
Nerve: Inters­egm­ental lateral branches of the dorsal rami
Acti­on: Extends vertebral column

Longis­simus and Ilioco­stalis - Palpation

- get patient to raise feet slightly to activation
- Extend head if further up at scapula level
- Should feel ropy


- Patient runs hand up and down back - ilioco­stalis + side to side - lower rectus abdominus
- Causes Buttock pain

Inters­capular Pain




Serratus Anterior

Multifidus Thoracis


Lower Traps

Ilioco­stalis Thoracis

Serratus Posterior Superior

Sympat­hetic Intrafusal Tension Syndrome

- Muscles of the upper back more affected by this
- Tone changes due to activation of the sympat­hetic nervous system
Trea­tme­nt: Patient education, decrease caffeine, increase water
Myof­ascial distor­tion: TrP therapy in a relaxed posture, heat afterwards
Treat associated manipu­lable lesions
CV Exerci­se: 3-5 x week, 15-20 mins per session Muscle tension and pain diary - pain and tension out of 10 and timing
Prog­ressive tension relaxa­tion: Patient fires middle traps for 10 seconds without moving scapula for 10 seconds - patient relaxes muscle for a few breaths - Contract again with half the tension for 10 seconds then relaxes, then half the tension again then relax
Abdo­minal Breathing Relaxation exerci­se: Breath through nose in a slow breath , don't hold breath in but hold for 3 following each exhala­tion, 3-5 breaths when patient feels stress
Once control of tension is regained, stretching starts