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Thoracolumbar Fascia - want to learn more about it?

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Thoracolumbar Fascia

The thoracolumbar fascia is a large, roughly diamond-shaped area of connective tissue constituted by the thoracic and lumbar parts of the deep fascia enclosing the intrinsic back muscles.

Anatomy

The deep fascia of the back attaches medially to the nuchal ligament, the tips of the spinous processes of the vertebrae, the supraspinous ligament, and changes its name at the thoracic and lumbar regions to the thoracolumbar fascia before inserting into the median crest of the sacrum as depicted in the figure below.

Thoracolumbar Fascia - dorsal view

The thoracolumbar fascia, like most other deep fasciae surrounds the deep muscles of the back and lumbar regions, and divides the muscles into compartments. It extends laterally from the spinous processes and forms a thin covering for the deep muscles in the thoracic region and a strong thick covering for muscles in the lumbar region where it is widest.

Function

Recommended video: Intrinsic muscles of the back: medial tract
Origins, insertions, innervation and functions of the medial tract of the intrinsic muscles of the back.

Clinical Correlation

Chronic Low Back Pain: The thoracolumbar fascia has been implicated in pains of the lower back region buttocks (piriformis syndrome) and sacroiliac joint pains.

Injury to the thoracolumbar fascia usually manifests as tightness, spasticity and increased tone in the lower thoracic spine and lumbar spine / paraspinal regions causing severe pains.

Thoracolumbar Fascia - want to learn more about it?

Our engaging videos, interactive quizzes, in-depth articles and HD atlas are here to get you top results faster.

Sign up for your free Kenhub account today and join over 931,206 successful anatomy students.

“I would honestly say that Kenhub cut my study time in half.” – Read more. Kim Bengochea Kim Bengochea, Regis University, Denver

Show references

References:

Author, Review and Layout:

  • Onome Okpe
  • Latitia Kench
  • Catarina Chaves

Illustrators:

  • Thoracolumbar Fascia - Yousun Koh
© Unless stated otherwise, all content, including illustrations are exclusive property of Kenhub GmbH, and are protected by German and international copyright laws. All rights reserved.

Related diagrams and images

Superficial muscles of the back

Intrinsic muscles of the back

5th lumbar vertebra level

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