Multifidus C-3 - L-5


Origin: The posterior aspect of the sacrum, the inner surface of superior spines of the ilium, the mamillary processes in the lumbar region, the transverse processes in the thoracic region, and the articular processes in the cervical region.

Insertion: The spinous process of the first to the fourth vertebra above the vertebra of origin.

Located: Place the index fingers, of each hand on opposite sides of the spinous process laterally.  With a light pressure, glide these fingers over this small area (obliquely upward and downward in a "V" fashion).

Listing Involvement: As the spinous process deviates to one side laterally, upon vertebral subluxation, the multifidus that is inserted into the opposite side of the spinous process will work for correction (the multifidus is commonly used for the initial location of a subluxation, as well as the primary indicator of "listing" direction.)

Working Sensation: The multifidii lie deep within the paravertebral musculature.  The working multifidii are palpated as flattened, fleshy bands, firm in tension (approximately the width of the little finger), but can be best located if the student expects only a notable perception because of the overlying musculature which often dulls the interpreted palpable sensation.

 Note: The semispinalis cevicis and thoracis are an appropriate "substitution" for the multifidus as they possess a very similar origin and insertion and relay the same analytical conclusions.  In fact, these are often harmlessly mistaken or the multifidus because they lie superficial to it.