Written by Sharanya Bhaskaran

Last updated January 7, 2023 • 3 Revisions

The semispinalis is a deep muscle of the back. It can be divided by its superior attachments into thoracic, cervicis, and capitis.

  • Attachments: Originates from the transverse processes of C4 – T10. The fibres ascend 4 – 6 vertebral segments, attaching to the spinous processes of C2 – T4 and to the occipital bone of the skull.
  • Actions: Extends and contralaterally rotates the head and the vertebral column.
  • Innervation: Posterior rami of the spinal nerves
  • Blood Supply:
    • Semispinalis thoracic receives its blood supply from the dorsal branches of posterior intercostal arteries.
    • Semispinalis cervicis receives its blood from the occipital, vertebral and deep cervical arteries.
    • Semispinalis capitis receives blood from the occipital artery.

Fig 1
The semispinalis and multfidus muscles.

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