Spinalis muscle - Musculus spinalis


The spinalis muscle is the most medial of the erector spinae group of muscles, and is lateral to the multifidus group. The spinalis detaches from medial side of the longissimus thoracis and travels forward near thoracic vertebral spinous processes to cervical vertebral spinous processes. It may be divided into two parts:

  • The spinalis thoracis is the thoracic part of the spinalis muscle that attaches to thoracic vertebral spinous processes and continues forward as spinalis cervicis.
  • The spinalis cervicis is the cervical part of the spinalis muscle and the forward continuation of the spinalis thoracis, that attaches to cervical vertebral spinous processes.

In the pig and the horse, the spinalis muscle forms a common muscle belly, therefore sometimes termed as "spinalis thoracic et cervicis (thoracic and cervical spinal muscle)", whereas in ruminants and carnivores, the thoracic and cervical spinalis muscles receive additional muscular strands from the the mamillary and transverse processes of some vertebrae, and the fibers of the spinlais musccles are closely related to and often difficult to separate form the semispinalis muscle. Therefore, some authors use the compound name "thoracic and cervical spinal and semispinal muscle" to describe this muscular complex.

Origin: extends across the spinous processes of one or more thoracic vertebrae, and sometimes last cervical vertebra

Insertion: spinous processes of Vth to 2nd cervical vertebrae

Action: fixes the thoracic vertebral column and extends the neck

Nerve: Dorsal branches of the cervical, thoracic and lumbar nerves

Text by Antoine Micheau, MD - Copyright IMAIOS
Veterinary Anatomy of Domestic Mammals: Textbook and Colour Atlas, Sixth Edition - Horst Erich König, Hans-Georg Liebich - Schattauer - ISBN-13: 978-3794528332
Illustrated Veterinary Anatomical Nomenclature - 3rd edittion - Gheorghe M. Constantinescu, Oskar Schaller - Enke
Miller's Anatomy of the Dog, 4th Edition - Evans & de Lahunta- Elsevier
Anatomie comparée des mammifères domestiques - 5th edtion - Robert Barone - Vigot


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