Anatomy, Back, Extrinsic Muscles

In: StatPearls [Internet]. Treasure Island (FL): StatPearls Publishing; 2024 Jan.


The back muscles are separated into extrinsic and intrinsic components based on their embryological origin and role in movement (see Image. Extrinsic Back Muscles). The extrinsic muscles include the trapezius, latissimus dorsi, rhomboid major and minor, levator scapulae, and serratus posterior superior and inferior muscles. The principal function of the extrinsic muscles of the back is to move the upper extremity by controlling the movement of the scapula and humerus—important bones in the shoulder region.

Various conditions can impair extrinsic back muscle function. Additionally, understanding the anatomy of this muscle group is crucial for precise instrument placement during surgical procedures. This article discusses the anatomy and clinical importance of the extrinsic back muscles.

Publication types

  • Study Guide