Can you palpate multifidus?

The best place to palpate the Multifidus is at the base of the lumbar spine, where it is only covered by a thin layer of fascia. If you locate the central bony aspects of at the base of your spine (called the spinous processes) and then drop off into the soft tissue either side, you will be sitting over the Multifidus.

How do you feel multifidus?

Breathe in and on breath out, contract the multifidus by imagining that you are drawing your thigh into the pelvis. There should be no actual movement of the hips, pelvis or spine. The contraction of the multifidus should feel like a slow, firm ‘swelling’ or ‘bulging’ underneath your fingers.

Where does multifidus attach?

At the cervical, thoracic and lumbar regions, one end of the multifidus attaches onto the transverse processes of a spinal vertebra, and the other to the spinous process on the vertebra 2-4 levels higher. Transverse processes are extensions of bone that emanate from the body of the vertebra on either side.

What is the function of the multifidus muscle?

The multifidus muscle is an important stabilizer of the lumbar spine. It functions together with transversus abdominis and pelvic floor muscles for spine stability.

Can multifidus atrophy be reversed?

There is evidence that specific exercise protocols including multifidus activation have been shown to reverse atrophy of LMM and that these exercises can reduce LBP (24).

How do I activate Multifidus?


  1. Start standing with one foot in front of the other.
  2. To palpate the multifidus, place your thumb right next to the spine on the low back.
  3. Shift your weight forward and allow your heel to come off the ground.
  4. You should feel the multifidus pop into your thumb as it contracts.

Is there a relationship between transversus abdominis and multifidus?

Previous research of transversus abdominis (TrA) and multifidus muscle function in the presence of chronic low back pain (LBP) has investigated these muscles in isolation. In clinical practice, it is assumed that a relationship exists between these muscles and so they are often assessed and rehabilitated together.

When to use deep palpation for abdominal pain?

Deep palpation is CONTRAINDICATED for patients with suspected abdominal aortic aneurysm, appendicitis, a tender spleen, a kidney transplant or polycystic kidney disease. Deep palpation is used to identify normal structures and masses, and assess for tenderness. During deep palpation, you will press 1.5-2.0 inches into the patient’s abdomen.

What does palpation mean for lumbar multifidus deficit?

Palpation. – Palpate the multifidus you are trying to isolate, (find the spine bone and then fall off into the gutter just sideways from the bone). If you have a multifidus deficit it will feel like a hole or soft spot compared to the opposite side.

How is the multifidus muscle of the lumbar region assessed?

The multifidus muscle can be assessed by the palpation of muscle bulk and by the quality of voluntary contraction at each lumbar vertebral level ( Hides et al., 2004 ).