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Serratus posterior superior muscle

Origins, insertions, innervation and function of the serratus posterior superior muscle.

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Hi everyone! It’s Matt from Kenhub, and in this tutorial, we will discuss the serratus posterior superior muscle. The serratus posterior muscles are a pair of thin, superficial back muscles which lie above the intrinsic back musculature. The two posterior serratus muscles are the serratus posterior superior muscle and the serratus posterior inferior muscles. Both originate from the spinous processes and insert on the ribs which is why they are also referred to as spinal costal muscles. In this short tutorial, we are going to look at the serratus posterior superior muscles origin, innervation, and how this muscle functions.

The serratus posterior superior muscle or musculus serratus posterior superior runs from the spinous processes of the C6 to T2 vertebrae caudolaterally to the 2nd to 5th ribs. This muscle is covered by the rhomboid and the trapezius muscles. Contraction of this muscle raises the ribs during inspiration. Both muscles are known to be among the secondary back muscles, meaning that they migrated to the back in the course of embryogenesis. Therefore, their nerve supply comes from the posterior branches of the spinal nerves, the intercostal nerves.

The serratus posterior muscles contribute to the movement and stabilization of the vertebral column and the thorax. The serratus posterior superior elevates the ribs and, this way, supports inspiration and is, therefore, an accessory muscle for respiration. Furthermore, the activation on both sides extends the thoracic vertebral column while a unilateral contraction rotates it to the opposite side.

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