Levatores Costarum

General information

Levatores costarum is a group of 12 small triangular muscles connecting the thoracic vertebrae to their adjacent ribs. These muscles are situated along the entire thoracic area from C7 to T12 on the posterior thoracic vertebra.

Literal meaning

The muscle that lifts the rib.

Interesting information

Along with the intercostal muscles, serratus posterior superior and inferior and transversus thoracis, they form the chest wall intrinsic muscles. These muscles may be involved in forced respiration and may also prevent paradoxical breathing.

These muscles are also the deepest muscles situated in the back, along with the interspinales and intertransversarii muscles, forming the fourth layer.


Transverse processes of the C7 – T11.


Superior border/external surface of rib one level below origin.


Elevation of the ribs, rotation of thoracic spine.

Nerve supply

Posterior rami of spinal nerves T1 – T12.

Blood supply

Posterior intercostal artery.

Levatores Costarum

Relevant research

None relating specifically to this muscle.

Levatores costarum exercises

None relating specifically to this muscle.

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