Muscles in the Back

Muscles in the Back has been divided into 3 different groups or categories. The deep back muscles are those which are actually fused in the vertebral column. Superficial muscle groups comprise those muscles which help in the movement of the shoulder & neck. The last group of muscles is called the intermediate muscles which actually helps in the movement of the thoracic cage. In true sense, the deep or intrinsic muscles are the true muscles.of the back.

Structure & Functions of Muscles in Back

The intrinsic deep back muscles are really strong & well developed. The intrinsic muscles in the back are fully covered with the fascia. To the erector spinae the deep back muscles are posteriors.

These are real short muscles which truly associated with the transverse processes of vertebrae & spinous. The deep muscles of the back comprised of the following 3 types of muscles

  1. Semi Spinalis.
  2. Multifidus.
  3. Rotatories.

The intrinsic muscles in the back help in the stabilization of the vertebral Colum & also play a major role in balance & proprioception. Not only is this, they really handy in maintaining posture & movement of the vertebral column.

The muscles in the back layer of superficial includes

  • Splenius Cervicis.
  • Cplenius Capitis.

The superficial muscles in the back are truly handy in the movement of back & Neck.

The intermediate muscles comprise of the following group of muscles.

  1. Longissimus.
  2. Iliocoastalis.
  3. Spinalis.

Based on the attachments of the muscles these are further divided & have a common tendinous origin. They play a vital role in the movement of flexion & thoracic cage of head and upper vertebral column.

Muscles in the Back

Splenius Capitis

  • Starts From – C7 vertebrae of Spinous processes and supraspinous ligamentsand T1-T3 (or T4) vertebrae
  • Insertion – Mastoid process and lateral third of the superior nuchal line
  • Action
    • Unilateral: Associate in the rotation of the head at either side.
    • Bilateral: extension of the head.
  • Splenius Capitis helps in forming the floor portion of posterior triangle of our neck.

Splenius Cervicis

  • Starts From –  spinous processes of T3-T6
  • Insertion
    • Transverse processes of axis and atlas
    • Posterior tubercle of the C3 vertebra
  • Action:
    • Unilateral: Handy in the rotation of cervical vertebra.
    • Bilateral: Act as an extension of the upper cervical spine

Erector spinae

Erector spinae muscles in the back cover up a wide area of the back.

Action of Erector Spinae – It actually control the forward flexion of the thorax which is secondary to the gravity. The capitis & cervical group’s action are unknown. As compared to the other muscles these are small and bear small force. Covered by

  • Thoracolumbar fascia
  • Serratus Posterior Inferior
  • Rhomboids
  • Splenii Muscle Groups


  • Spinalis thoracis
    • In the thoracic region it is one of the most medial of erector spinae.
    • Start from the T11 to L2 of spinous processes.
    • Inserted into the spinous process of the upper thoracic.
  • Spinalis Capitis &Cervicis are not properly developed & defined that’s why these fibers could absent in some of us.
    • Spinalis cervicis
      • Starts from:
        • Ligamentum Nuchae
        • C7 spinous process
      • Insertion: C3-C4 of spinous processes.
    • Spinalis capitis
      • Only a few fibers of the spinalis capitis which inserts on C7 & T1 of spinous processes.

Meta Description –Read out the types of muscles in the back & find out the best information on anatomy. Learn anatomy of Muscles of the back superficial, intrinsic, & intermediate muscles of the back.

You can get more information about muscles: we have shared links below. Follow links to get more information.

Back Muscles Diagrams
Muscles Spasm in the Chest
Upper Back Muscles
Upper Back Pain
Upper Left Back Pain