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Flexor Digitorum Superficialis Anatomy: Origin, Insertion, Action

Flexor Digitorum Superficialis Anatomy Study

Ulnar head: medial epicondyle of the humerus via the common flexor tendon, medial border of the base of the coronoid process of the ulna, and ulnar collateral ligament
Radial head: oblique line of the radius along its supero-anterior border
Insertion: Volar surface of the base of each middle phalanx of the four digits
Action: Flexion of the digits, Flexion of the wrist
Blood Supply: Muscular branches from the ulnar and radial arteries
Innervation: Median nerve (C7, C8, T1)


For pain and symptom information see: Flexor Digitorum Superficialis Pain and Symptoms




Primary Actions of the Flexor Digitorum Superficialis:

1. Flexion of the digits at the proximal interphalangeal joints

  • Agonists: Flexor Digitorum Profundus
  • Antagonists:  Lumbricals, Dorsal Interossei, Palmar Interossei, Extensor Digitorum, Extensor Indicis, Extensor Digiti Minimi

Secondary Actions of the Flexor Digitorum Superficialis:

2. Assists with flexion of the digits at the metacarpophalangeal joints

  • Agonists: Dorsal Interossei, Palmar Interossei, Lumbricals, Flexor Digitorum Profundus, Flexor Digiti Minimi
  • Antagonists: Extensor Digitorum, Extensor Indicis, Extensor Digiti Minimi

3. Assists with flexion of the wrist

  • Agonists: Flexor Carpi Radialis, Palmaris Longus, Flexor Carpi Ulnaris
  • Antagonists: Extensor Carpi Radialis Longus, Extensor Carpi Radialis Brevis, Extensor Carpi Ulnaris

Learn Human Muscle Anatomy

Musculoskeletal Anatomy Flashcards Musculoskeletal Flashcards Are you a student or professional therapist who needs to brush up on the musculoskeletal system? Dr. Joseph E. Muscolino DC has developed a comprehensive set of flashcards that will help develop a mind’s picture of exactly where the muscles lie under the skin. A highly recommended study aid for students. Great for non students who want an easy comprehensive anatomy guide.



The Anatomy Coloring Book is one of the best study and reference books for beginning anatomy students. The diagrams are clearly labeled and allow you to see the relationship and placement of the various structures of the body. You will also be surprised how the act of coloring will help with recall. But this is not just a beginners book, it is also great for practitioners and therapists to have on hand to use with clients and patients to use as a visual reference.





Out of the scores of books in my office Basic Clinical Massage Therapy is by far the most referenced book in my library. The musculoskeletal system is overlaid on human models allowing you to learn the precise location, origin and insertions of each muscle. The models are pictured in various poses throughout the book which also helps you visualize muscles in motion and their actions relationship with the skeletal structure and other muscles. Though it is written for massage therapists, it is an excellent book for anyone who wants to learn about the muscular system. MT’s will benefit from recommended treatments for each muscle.





The Trigger Point Therapy Workbook – Claire Davies, Amber Davies, and David G. Simons

Basic Clinical Massage Therapy: Integrating Anatomy and Treatment – James H. Clay and David M. Pounds

Trigger Point Therapy for Myofascial Pain – Donna Finando and Steven Finando