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Psoas minor muscle

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Attachments, innervation and functions of the psoas minor muscle.
Psoas minor muscle (Musculus psoas minor)

The psoas minor is a thin, paired muscle of the posterior abdominopelvic region. It is located on the anterior aspect of the psoas major muscle, but does not extend with it beyond the inguinal ligament. Despite its close relation to the psoas major muscle, the psoas minor is not considered part of the iliopsoas muscle complex.

The psoas minor is an inconsistent muscle, found only in a certain part of the population. When present, it acts on the lumbar spine to produce a weak flexion of the trunk.

This article will cover the anatomy and function of the psoas minor muscle.

Quick facts about the psoas minor muscle
Origin  Vertebral bodies of T12 & L1 vertebrae
Insertion Iliopubic eminence, pecten pubis
Blood supply Lumbar arteries
Innervation  Anterior ramus of spinal nerve L1
Action Weak flexion/lateral flexion of trunk
  1. Origin and insertion
  2. Relations
  3. Innervation
  4. Blood supply
  5. Function
  6. Sources
+ Show all

Origin and insertion

The psoas minor muscle originates from the lateral aspect of the bodies of the T12 and L1 vertebrae, as well as the intervertebral disc found between them.

The muscle then extends inferiorly and tapers into a long, flat tendon, which is often longer than the muscle belly.

The tendon inserts onto the pecten pubis (pectineal line of pubis) and the iliopubic eminence via a thickened band of fascia known as the iliopectineal arch.


The psoas minor muscle is located entirely on the anterior surface of the psoas major muscle and thus shares a lot of its anterior relations. The right psoas minor sits posterior to the inferior vena cava and is crossed by the most distal end of the ileum, while the left psoas minor is crossed by the colon.

Along its anteromedial border, the muscle is related to the sympathetic trunk and the aortic lymph nodes.


The psoas minor muscle is innervated by the anterior ramus of the spinal nerve L1.

Blood supply

The vascular supply of the psoas minor muscle comes mainly from the lumbar arteries. However, it also receives some minor contributions from the blood supply network of the psoas major muscle. This may include branches of the iliolumbar, obturator, external iliac and femoral arteries.


The psoas minor is a very weak muscle and its absence does not result in any reduced functionality of the body, thus its exact function is not entirely clear. However, it is suggested that it assists in trunk flexion, allowing an individual to bend forward at the lumbar spine.

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