What is the Rotatores?

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  • Written By: Meshell Powell
  • Edited By: Melissa Wiley
  • Last Modified Date: 13 September 2019
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The rotatores muscles are a group of muscles located deep within the spine. These muscles are quadrilateral in shape and are found on each side of the spinal column. This group of muscles helps to enable proper posture as well as assists in the body's ability to unconsciously realize the position of certain areas of the body.

Situated just above the rotatores muscles are the thin muscles known as the multifidus muscles. These muscles protect the joints of the spine from degeneration and provide stability to the vertebrae, helping them to function more effectively. Posture is also affected by the multifidus muscles, as they assist in holding the body in an upright position.

The rotatores muscles begin at the part of the vertebrae called the transverse process. This structure is basically a bony protrusion extending from the sides of the vertebrae. The transverse process is a point of connection for the muscles and ligaments of the spine. From the transverse process, the rotatores muscles extend in an upward direction to the vertebrae located above.

The spinal nerve, particularly the dorsal branch, is responsible for providing the nerve supply to the rotatores muscles. This nerve carries both sensory and motor signals to the muscles and skin of the spinal region of the body. Blood supply to the rotatores muscles comes from various branches of the aorta, the largest of the arteries found in the human body.


Although the rotatores muscles are important spinal muscles, they are found only in the thoracic region of the spine. This is the portion of the spine located in the middle, or chest area, of the body, just below the cervical region. This is the area of the spine that allows for movement of the ribs and surrounding structures. Rotation of the spine is also made possible by the rotatores muscles.

Any of the muscles located in the spinal area of the body are prone to injury. If the rotatores muscles become damaged, the ability to move effectively may be compromised. Treatment depends on the type as well as the extent of the injury. Medications and physical therapy are common treatments, with surgery being an option in extreme cases of injury or damage to the muscles or surrounding tissues or structures. As is the case with any other back injury, medical assistance should be sought quickly if damage is suspected in order to ensure proper diagnosis and treatment.


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