Lumbar Spine Myotomes

Myotomes of the Lumbar Nerve Roots

What is myotome you may ask? Myotome is a fancy term for a group of muscles that a single nerve root is responsible for in terms of a movement of the limb.

Why is it important? It gives you an idea of which nerve root is pinched, compressed, inflamed, etc and targeting that specific region of the lumbar spine will hopefully get a step close to giving you relief.

I created a cheat sheet below. Keep in mind, various resources vary slightly which nerve does what and meant to be used as a guide, not the end all be all answer.

Lumbar Nerve Root: the movement it is responsible for

L2: hip flexion ( knee to chest movement)

L3: knee extension (straightening the knee)

L4: dorsiflexion (pointing your toes toward your nose)

L5: big toe dorsiflexion (pointing your big toe toward your nose)

S1: plantar flexion or big toe plantar flexion ( pointing your toes toward the floor as if you were pressing on the gas pedal)

S2: knee flexion (bending your knee backwards)


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