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Flashcards in Superficial Back Deck (54):

External occipital protuberance

projection on the external surface of the squamous part of the occipital bone in the midline


Vertebra Prominens

Long spinous process of C7. Disappears when head is extended


T1 Spinous Process

Another prominent spinous process. Does not disappear when head is extended



Fusion of 5 sacral vertebrae. Large triangular bone


Iliac Crest

Superior lateral boundaries of pelvic girdle


Teres Major

medial rotator and adductor of the humerus and assists the latissimus dorsi in drawing the previously raised humerus downward and backward (extension, but not hyper extension). It also helps stabilize the humeral head in the glenoid cavity



Area of the skin innervated by fibers from a single spinal nerve or spinal cord segment. Dermatome maps have been developed from clinical studies. Adjacent dermatomes have some area of overlap. Dermatome maps can be used for clinical sensory testing.


Superficial Fascia

Subcutaneous tissue (tissue immediately below the skin). Found between the skin and the deep fascia. Covers most of the body, storage area for body fat. Not very well organized


Deep fascia

Strong, dense, well organized layer of connective tissue. Located deep to the superficial fascia and contains NO fat. Where muscles attach to bones the deep fascia becomes continuous with periosteum. Helps form compartments in the body. Divides into different layers: Investing layer of deep fascia, intermuscular septa, and retinaculum


Investing layer of deep fascia

AKA Superficial layer of deep fascia. Invests (covers) deeper structures. Extensions from the deep surface of the deep fascia invests deeper structures such as muscles and neurovascular bundles


Intermuscular septa

separates muscles into groups



thickening of the deep fascia across tendons of muscles at joints


Muscles of the back

Three types of muscles of the back: superficial back muscles, intermediate back muscles, and deep back muscles


Superficial back muscles

Also known as axioappendicular muscles. Attach to upper limb (appendicular skeleton) to axial skeleton. muscles of the superficial group originate from the bony structures of the back and insert on the bones of upper limb. Since they act to move the upper limb and not the back, they are, therefore, EXTRINSIC back muscles. Since they are upper limb muscles they are supplied by the VENTRAL PRIMARY RAMI and not by the dorsal primary rami. Included in these are Trapezius, latissmus dorsi, levator scapulae, and rhomboid major and minor.


Intermediate back muscles

Extrinsic muscles. Involved in the act of respiration by acting on the chest wall. Innervated by ventral primary rami.


Deep back muscles

The deep back muscles are the true (intrinsic) muscles of the back. These muscles are the primary movers of the back. Innervated by the DORSAL primary ramus.



Superficial back muscle. Provides direct attachment of pectoral girdle to the axial skeleton (trunk). Flat triangular muscle. Helps to suspend the upper limb from the trunk. The two muscles, one on each side of the vertebral column, form a trapezoid (4 sided) structure. Covers back of neck and upper half of the trunk. Attaches the pectoral girdle to the skull and vertebral column. Muscle fibers are divided into three parts.


Trapezius origin

Occipital Bone, Ligamentum nuchae, Spinous process of C7 - T12


Trapezius Insertion

Clavicle (lateral 1/3), Acromion and spine of scapula


Trapezius Nerve Supply

Motor: Cranial nerve XI (spinal accessory nerve). Sensory: C3, C4 (ventral primary rami) - pain and proprioception


Trapezius Blood Supply

Superficial branch of the transverse cervical artery. Located on the deep surface of the muscle


Trapezius Action

Holds upper limb to trunk. Adducts (retract) scapula (middle fibers). Raises scapula (upper fibers). Depresses scapula (lower fibers). Rotates scapula so that the inferior angle is moved laterally for abduction of upper limb above horizontal position.


Trapezius Clinical Correlations

Nerve injury results in drooping of scapula (shoulder) also known as shoulder drop. To test its strength, the shoulder is shrugged against resistance


Latissmus Dorsi

Superficial back muscle. Very broad and flat muscle. Covers inferior half of the back (T6 to iliac crest). Attaches from upper limb to trunk. Acts on the shoulder joint


Latissmus Dorsi Origin

Spinous process of lower 6 thoracic vertebrae, thoracolumbar fascia, iliac crest and lower 3/4 ribs


Latissmus Dorsi Insertion

Humerus (at intertubercular groove) between Teres major and Pectoralis major


Latissmus Dorsi Nerve Supply

Thoracodorsal Nerve (C6, C7, C8 level of spinal cord) from brachial plexus


Latissmus Dorsi Blood Supply

Thoracodorsal Artery


Latissmus Dorsi Action

Pulls arm posteriorly (extends the arm) and rotates medially. Used in chopping wood or crawl stroke in swimming. Adducts, extends, and medially rotates the humerus at the shoulder joint. Along the pectoralis major, it is a powerful adductor of the arm.


Latissmus Dorsi Clinical Correlation

Nerve damage results in an inability to raise the trunk with upper limbs during climbing


Triangle of auscultation

Small triangular gap between muscles near inferior angle of scapula. Bounded by trapezius, latissmus dorsi, and medial border of scapula. Good place to listen for respiratory sounds with stethoscope as sounds are less muffled.


Levator scapulae

Superficial back muscle. A strap-like muscle located in the neck and the upper part of the thorax. The upper part lies deep to the sternocleidomastoid and the inferior part lies deep to the trapezius muscle.


Levator scapulae origin

Transverse processes of first three or four cervical vertebrae


Levator scapulae insertion

Superior angle of scapula and along its upper medial border


Levator scapulae blood supply

Dorsal scapular artery (branch of axillary a) or deep branch of transverse cervical artery


Levator scapulae nerve supply

Dorsal scapular nerve (C5) and 3rd & 4th cervical nerves


Levator scapulae action

Elevates scapula. Rotates scapula to move the glenoid cavity and shoulder joint inferiorly


Rhomboid Major and Minor

Superficial back muscle. One sheet of muscle, lies deep to the trapezius muscle. Upper portion is the rhomboid minor, lower bigger portion is the rhomboid major.


Rhomboid Major and Minor origin

Spines of lower cervical (C7) and upper thoracic (T1-T5) vertebrae


Rhomboid Major and Minor Insertion

Medial border of scapula


Rhomboid Major and Minor Blood Supply

Dorsal scapular artery


Rhomboid Major and Minor Nerve Supply

Dorsal scapular nerve (ventral ramus of C5) and some fibers from C4


Rhomboid Major and Minor Action

Adduct scapula. Rotate scapula so the glenoid cavity moves inferiorly


Rhomboid Major and Minor Clinical Correlation

Injury to the dorsal scapular nerve results in inability to adduct the scapula


Serratus Posterior Superior

Intermediate back muscle. Located deep to the rhomboid muscles.


Serratus Posterior Superior Origin

Ligamentum nuchae and spines of C7 to T3 vertebrae


Serratus Posterior Superior Insertion

2nd to 4th ribs


Serratus Posterior Superior Nerve Supply

First three thoracic spinal nerves. VENTRAL primary rami.


Serratus Posterior Superior Action

Elevates Ribs


Serratus Posterior Inferior

Intermediate back muscle. Located at junction of thoracic and lumbar regions.


Serratus Posterior Inferior Origin

T11 to L2 Vertebral spines


Serratus Posterior Inferior Insertion

Lower four ribs


Serratus Posterior Inferior Action

Aids in respiration by holding ribs steady when diaphragm moves up


Serratus Posterior Inferior Nerve Supply

Last 4 thoracic nerves