After the skin and superficial fascia are removed from the back, the muscles (covered by deep fascia) and superficial vessels and nerves can be seen. You will usually find an artery, vein and nerve travelling together in a neurovascular bundle so if you see one, the others are near by.

Superficial Nerves of the Back

The superficial vessels and nerves are placed segmentally along side the spinous processes of the vertebrae. The distance from the spinous processes that the neurovascular bundles emerge through the muscles varies. To get an idea of where the nerves are coming from, examine the following image. The nerves are in purple and are dorsal (posterior) rami of spinal nerves.
nerves spinal nerve

Landmarks of the Back   Superficial Muscles of the Back

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