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erector spinae muscle (anatomy)

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The erector spinae is the largest muscle mass of the back. It lies in the intermediate layer of intrinsic back muscles.

It is divided into three longitudinal columns:

  • iliocostalis muscle
  • longissimus muscle
  • spinalis muscle

Acting unilaterally, the three muscle groups act to laterally flex the ipsilateral spine. Bilateral contraction as a unit flexes the spine.