The rotatores muscle, also referred to as the rotatores spinae, is comprised of 22 small muscles in the thoracic region. There are 11 rotatores muscles on each side of the spine. Each rotatores muscle is small and is classified as being quadrilateral in shape. The rotatores muscle, along with the multifidus and semispinalis muscles, facilitates the unilateral rotation and bilateral extension of the spine. The three muscles together comprise the transversospinalis and connect the transverse process to the superior spinous process. The transversospinalis, erector spinae, and splenius muscles form the intrinsic back muscles, which are extensors of the spine. It is essential to note that the intrinsic muscles of the spine, which include the rotatores muscles, serve to move the postural column as well as to provide control of the spine. Intrinsic muscles include superficial and deeper layers. The rotatores muscle belongs to the deeper layer intrinsic back muscles. They are, in fact, the deepest layer of muscles that cannot be felt through the skin.
Written and medically reviewed by the Healthline Editorial Team
In Depth: Rotatores