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(Last Updated On: March 9, 2019)

Diaphragm Muscle Anatomy: Origin, Insertion, Action, and Innervation

Muscle Anatomy of the Diaphragm

Origin: Attaches to the xiphoid process, the inner surface of the lower six costal cartilages and to the L1 through the L3 lumbar vertebrae
Insertion: Attaches to the central aponeurotic tendon
Actions: Inspiration and forced inspiration
Innervation: Phrenic nerve (C3, C4, C5)
Blood Supply: Inferior Phrenic artery

Diaphragm origin, insertion and actions

Diaphragm Actions With Agonists and Antagonists

Primary Actions of the Diaphragm

1. Inspiration

  Agonists:

  • External Intercostals
  • Serratus Posterior Superior

  Antagonists:

  • Internal Intercostals
  • Transversus Thoracis
  • Internal Oblique
  • External Oblique
  • Rectus Abdominis

2. Forced Inspiration

  Agonists:

  • Pectoralis Minor
  • Pectoralis Major
  • External Intercostals
  • Scalenes
  • Serratus Posterior Superior

  Antagonists:

  • Internal Intercostals
  • Transversus Thoracis
  • Internal Oblique
  • External Oblique
  • Rectus Abdominis

Information about cause and effect of Diaphragm pain:

Diaphragm: Chest Pain, Rib Pain, Difficulty Breathing

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Recommended Anatomy Books:

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 by 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.

The Trail Guide To The Body is another excellent book to help you learn the musculature of the human body. Though the book is geared toward massage therapists and physical therapist assistants, the book with its illustrations and text helps anyone gain a thorough understanding of the human musculoskeletal system and movement. I highly recommend this book for anyone studying anatomy and believe that MTs, PTAs, and teachers of body movements should have this book in their possession. I also highly recommend this book for the layperson who wants to gain an understanding of the muscle, skeletal system and how our bodies move. This book will not disappoint!

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 the recommended treatments for each muscle.

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