Home » Anatomy » Torso Muscles » intrinsic Back Muscles » Intrinsic Spine Muscles » Rotatores and Multifidi – Functional Anatomy

Rotatores and Multifidi – Functional Anatomy

Multifidi and Rotatores

Multifidi and rotatores form a thick band of muscles that fill the lamina groove. They connect the proximal transverse process of a vertebra to the spinous process of the vertebrae above it.

The shortest strand is the deepest. As the strands lengthen to span more vertebrae, they become more superficial. This forms a thick web of guy wires that allow vertebrae to move in relationship to each other.

Rotatores

Rotatores are the deepest muscles in the lamina groove. Rotatores connect the transverse process of a vertebra to the spinous processes of the spinous process of the two vertebrae just above it.

 Wikipedia entry for rotatores

Multifidi

Multifidi lay just on top of the rotatores.  Multifidi connect from the transverse process of a vertebra to the spinous processes of the vertebrae 3-5 segments higher. This configuration traps vertebrae between the attachments.

They stabilize a vertebra with the 5 or 6 vertebrae above it in combination with the rotatores.

Rotatores lay under the multifidi, and semispinalis muscles lay above the multifidi, but the bulk of muscle in the lamina groove is made of the multifidi.

The posterior rami of spinal nerves innervate these small muscles.

Multifidi Attachments by Spinal Section

Multifidi attachments vary slightly in different sections of the spine.

Cervical

Origin

  • articular process (of the lower four vertebrae)

Insertion

  • transverse process of the vertebrae 2-4 segments above, up to the axis

There are exceptions to the typical multifidi structure, and cervical multifidi are included. They originate on C5-C7 and insert on C2-C5, leaving some single strands that only skip over one vertebra.

Thoracic

Origin

  • transverse process

Insertion

  • the spinous process of the vertebrae 3-5 vertebrae above the origin

Lumbar

Origin

  • mamillary process

Insertion

  • the spinous process of the vertebrae 3-5 segments above the origin

The lumbar multifidi form a thick pillar of muscle in the low back. They continue onto the sacrum below.

Studies report that the lumbosacral multifidi, especially below L3, atrophy much faster than most muscles with age, starting in the late 30s.

Support Integrative Works to
stay independent
and produce great content.

You can subscribe to our community on Patreon. You will get links to free content and access to exclusive content not seen on this site. In addition, we will be posting anatomy illustrations, treatment notes, and sections from our manuals not found on this site. Thank you so much for being so supportive.


Featured Post

The Integrative Model

This video is a brief overview of the Integrative Bodywork Model. It explores the difference between integrated and integrated approaches. Additionally., it walks through an example.

We want your feedback! We are in the process of creating a format for individual muscles.

Please drop us a note at
[email protected].

Tony Preston has a practice in Atlanta, Georgia, where he sees clients. He has written materials and instructed classes since the mid-90s. This includes anatomy, trigger points, cranial, and neuromuscular.

Question? Comment? Typo?
[email protected]

*This site is undergoing significant changes. We are reformatting and expanding the posts to make them easier to read. The result will also be more accessible and include more patterns with better self-care. Meanwhile, there may be formatting, content presentation, and readability inconsistencies. Until we get older posts updated, please excuse our mess.