Author: Sinead Johnson


The Rhomboid Minor Muscle; also known as the Rhomboideus Minor Muscle; gets its name from its shape which is rhomboid. It is located deep to the trapezius and forms part of the second layer back muscles, which is attached to the dorsal surfaces of cervical and thoracic vertebrae. Its origin is the spinous processes of vertebrae C7-T1 and insertsat the medial border of the scapula, at the root of the spine of the scapula. The course of the muscle is parallel to the muscle fibre direction between the muscle origin at the spinal aponeurosis and insertion at the scapula (from origin to insertion). The nerve supplying the Rhomboideus Minor muscle is the dorsal scapular nerve; which arises at the C5 root of the brachial plexus. The blood supplying the muscle is the dorsal scapular artery, which originates from the subclavian artery. The actions rhomboid minor can perform or assist in performing include retraction, elevation, downward rotation of the scapula and it fixes scapula to thoracic wall. Rhomboid minor also stabilizes the scapula.

Interactions and relations to other Muscles:

Rhomboid minor forms part of the second layer of back muscles laying deep to the trapezius. It is situated superior to the rhomboid major and also performs movements such as retraction and elevation ,acting together to keep the scapula against the thoracic wall. It is also inferior to levator scapulae and the three muscles share the same nerve supply, being the dorsal scapular nerve. Its antagonist is Serratus Anterior . The synergists of rhomboid minor include upper, middle and lower trapezius, rhomboid major, levator scapulae and latissimus dorsi. The nerve supplying the latissimus dorsi; which is the Thoracodorsal nerve; only supplies that muscle and the Axillary nerve supplies only the trapezius.

Relevance to Physiotherapy or Occupational Therapy:

Citing valid sources where necessary, describe the relevance of this mucle to your chosen discipline.

Links to online interactive material:


Musculoskeletal Manuel Medicine: diagnosis and treatment by Jiri Dvorak (page 616)
Martini Nath - Fundememtals of Anatomy & Physiology
Instant Anatomy Third Edition - Robert H. Whitaker & Neil R. Barley