The musculus erector spinae (back extensor) belongs to the back muscles and represents the musculature of the vertebral column. Many people suffer from complaints in that area so high importance can be attached to the musculus erector spinae.
Musculus erector spinae – location
In two strands the musculus erector spinae runs from the back of the head to the pelvis and sacral bone (sacrum). Its origins and insertions are the fascia thoracolumbalis, the bogenlaminae, and several ribs, spinous and transverse processes. The back extensor can be divided into a lateral (exterior) and a medial (interior) tract.
The medial tract is determined by many short muscles connecting individual adjacent vertebrae. The lateral tract mainly contains longer muscles that run across several vertebrae. This large number of smaller and bigger muscles creates a very complex structure that forms the musculus erector spinae.
Musculus erector spinae – function
From an anatomical and functionality point of view the musculus erector spinae can be classified in an upper (cervical spine), a middle (thoracic spine), and a lower (lumbar spine) part. The main functions of the back extensor are the stabilization, hold, and support of the back. Further functions are the:
- erection of the trunk (from bending forward),
- tilting of the pelvis,
- side inclination of the trunk,
- rotation of the vertebral column,
- back inclination of the head, and
- rotation in the cervical area.
To distinguish the medial and lateral tract, the functions of the musculus erector spinae can be determined as follows:
Functions of the medial tract:
- mainly hold and support functions,
- the rotation in the cervical area, and
- motions of the vertebral column.
Functions of the lateral tract:
- the erection of the trunk (from bending forward and from side inclination),
- the side inclination of the trunk,
- the rotation of the vertebral column, and
- back inclination and rotation of the head.
Musculus erector spinae – importance and training
The musculus erector spinae is very important. Many people suffer from back problems, so the main focus should be set on painlessness, avoidance or ease of complaints and not on maximal muscular performance. Within the workout we should ensure a correct execution. The goal should be stabilization and mobility.
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