Human Movement Science & Functional Anatomy of the:


by Brent Brookbush MS, PES, CES, CSCS, ACSM H/FS

Note the cross-sectional area and location of the multifidus relative to the facet joints of the lumbar spine -

Multifidus - from the latin roots "multi" and "findire", translating roughly to "to split into many parts".

  • Origin and Insertion:
    • Lumbar: The lumbar multifidus span between two and four segments - the deepest fibers span from lamina to mammillary process of the vertebrae two below, the longer fibers arising from the spinous process and inserting into the mammillary process or the vertebrae or comparable area of the sacrum 4 to 5 vertebrae below.  The longest fibers (L1, L2 and L3) have attachment to the posterior superior iliac spine, while some of the deepest fibers have attachment to the capsule of the zygapophyseal joints themselves.
    • Thoracic and Cervical Spine:  The multifidus are less developed in the thoracic and cervical spine where they originate from the spinous process, cross 2-4 segments, inserting into the transverse process below.
    • The multifidus are the deepest and most medial of the paraspinal muscles; abutting the zygapophysial joints.  These muscle lay between the spinous process and erector spinae, and deep to the superficial layer of the thoracolumbar fascia in the lumbar spine.
    • * The lumbar multifidus may be palpated.  With your patient/client relaxed in prone position, place your fingers just lateral to the spinous process, but medial to thick lumbar erectors.  As the multifidus work synergistically with the transverse abdominis - having your patient/client "draw-in" without compensatory flexion or extension will "inflate" the multifidus muscles under your