Serratus anterior muscle

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created 2 years ago by bor
Serratus anterior origin, insertion, function, pain, images
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Serratus anterior muscle extends from the side of the ribs to the scapula. It helps move the upper arms forward and assists in breathing.

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Origin: Anterior surfaces of the ribs 1-9

Insertion: Anterior surface of the medial border of scapula

Innervation: long thoracic nerve



  • Holds the scapula close to the rib cage and thus stabilizes it
  • During a forward movement of the upper arm, like during a boxing punch, it abducts (moves laterally, away from the spine) and protracts it (brings it forward)
  • Rotates the scapula upwards while abducting an arm or lifting weight over the head
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Overuse of serratus anterior (sprints, boxing, lifting objects with extended arms) can cause sharp pain on the either side of the chest aggravated by deep breathing.

Differential diagnosis:

  • Side stitch
  • Trapped wind
  • Kidney stones
  • Gallstones
  • Spontaneous pneumothorax

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