Massage & Bodywork

September/October 2011

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functional anatomy BY CHRISTY CAEL TRANSVERSOSPINALIS GROUP Semispinalis capitis Tendon Intertransversarii cervicis Levatores Rotatores thoracis The semispinalis, multifi di, and rotatores are all part of the transversospinalis group (transverse = across; spinalis = the spine). Tiny individual muscles connect the transverse process of one vertebra to the spinous process of another located above. Together, these muscles form a matrix that spans the Semispinalis thoracis entire vertebral column and functions much like rigging on a sailboat. This muscular network is located on the posterior trunk, within the lamina groove. It is deep to the trapezius, rhomboids, latissimus dorsi, and large erector spinae group. Semispinalis is the most superfi cial of the Multifi dus Intertransversarii transversospinalis muscles. Its fi bers connect each transverse process to the spinous process fi ve or six vertebrae above. Its fi ber direction is the most vertical of the group, giving it the best leverage for spinal extension. All of the transversospinalis muscles rotate the vertebral column to the opposite side by pulling the spinous processes inferiorly toward the associated transverse processes. The multifi di are located deep to the semispinalis and TRANSVERSOSPINALIS GROUP Attachments • Origin: Vertebral transverse processes • Insertion: Vertebral spinous processes Actions • Extends the vertebral column (bilateral action) • Laterally fl exes the vertebral column toward the same side (unilateral action) • Rotates the vertebral column toward the opposite side (unilateral action) Innervation • Dorsal rami of spinal nerves superfi cial to the rotatores. Their fi bers connect each transverse process to the spinous process three or four vertebrae above. These muscles are oriented more horizontally than the semispinalis and more vertically than rotatores, giving them leverage for both extension and rotation. The rotatores are the deepest muscles of the transversospinalis group, and the most developed in the thoracic spine. Each muscle has two parts: the fi rst connects each transverse process to the spinous process immediately above, and the second connects the transverse process to the spinous process two above. The near-horizontal fi ber direction gives this muscle good leverage for rotation, but less for extension. tune in to your practice at ABMPtv 89

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