Diagram of the Flexor Digitorum Superficialis Muscle

Muscle Anatomy of the Flexor Digitorum Superficialis

Origin: Humeroulnar head: medial epicondyle of the humerus via the common flexor tendon, medial border of the base of the coronoid process of the ulna
Radial head: oblique line of the radius along its supero-anterior border
Insertion: Via four tendons attaching to the anterior surface of the middle phalanx of digits 2-5
Actions: Flexion of the digits at proximal interphalangeal joints and metacarpophalangeal joints, flexion of the wrist
Innervation: Median nerve (C7, C8, T1)
Blood Supply: Muscular branches from the ulnar and radial arteries

Muscle Anatomy: Flexor Digitorum Superficialis Actions

Primary Actions of the Flexor Digitorum Superficialis

1.  Flexion of the digits at the proximal interphalangeal joints


  • Flexor Digitorum Profundus


  • Lumbricals
  • Dorsal Interossei
  • Palmar Interossei
  • Extensor Digitorum
  • Extensor Indicis (second digit)
  • Extensor Digiti Minimi (fifth digit)

Secondary Actions of the Flexor Digitorum Superficialis:

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


  • Dorsal Interossei
  • Palmar Interossei
  • Lumbricals
  • Flexor Digitorum Profundus
  • Flexor Digiti Minimi


  • Extensor Digitorum
  • Extensor Indicis
  • Extensor Digiti Minimi

2. Assists with flexion of the wrist


  • Flexor Carpi Radialis
  • Palmaris Longus
  • Flexor Carpi Ulnaris


  • Extensor Carpi Radialis Longus
  • Extensor Carpi Radialis Brevis
  • Extensor Carpi Ulnaris

Note: Flexor pollicis longus and flexor digitorum profundus assist with flexion of the wrist.

Information about cause and effect of Flexor Digitorum Superficialis pain:

Flexor Digitorum Superficialis Muscle: Finger Pain

Recommended Anatomy Books:

Anatomy Coloring Book

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.

Human Muscle Anatomy

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 lay person who wants to gain understanding of the muscle, skeletal system and how our bodies move. This book will not disappoint!

Basic Clinical Massage Therapy

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.

Muscle Anatomy Flashcards

Musculoskeletal Anatomy 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.

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