Serratus posterior muscles: Anatomy, clinical relevance, and function

Joel A. Vilensky, Marsha Baltes, Laura Weikel, Joseph D. Fortin, Louis J. Fourie

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

14 Scopus citations


The serratus posterior superior and inferior muscles are generally considered clinically insignificant muscles that, based on attachments, probably function in respiration. Interestingly, however, there is no evidence supporting a respiratory role for these muscles. In fact, some electromyographic data refute a respiratory function for these muscles. We suggest that the serratus posterior muscles function primarily in proprioception. Further, these muscles, especially the superior, have been implicated in myofascial pain syndromes and therefore may have greater clinical relevance than commonly attributed to them.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)237-241
Number of pages5
JournalClinical Anatomy
Issue number4
StatePublished - Jan 1 2001


  • Enthesopathy
  • Myofascial pain syndromes
  • Scapulocostal syndrome
  • Shoulder pain

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Anatomy

Fingerprint Dive into the research topics of 'Serratus posterior muscles: Anatomy, clinical relevance, and function'. Together they form a unique fingerprint.

  • Cite this