Semispinalis capitis

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Semispinalis capitis
Section of the neck at about the level of the sixth cervical vertebra. Showing the arrangement of the deep cervical fascia (semispinalis capitis visible at bottom right).
Deep muscles of the back. Semispinalis muscles labeled. Semispinalis capitis is the upper of the labeled ones.
Latin Musculus semispinalis capitis
Transverse processes of lower cervical and higher thoracic columna
Area between superior and inferior nuchal line
Greater occipital nerve
Actions Extends the head
Gray's p.400
TA A04.3.02.209
FMA 22830
Anatomical terms of muscle

The semispinalis capitis (complexus) is situated at the upper and back part of the neck, deep to the splenius, and medial to the longissimus cervicis and capitis. It is part of the transversospinales muscle group.

It arises by a series of tendons from the tips of the transverse processes of the upper six or seven thoracic and the seventh cervical vertebrae, and from the articular processes of the three cervical vertebrae above this (C4-C6).

The tendons, uniting, form a broad muscle, which passes upward, and is inserted between the superior and inferior nuchal lines of the occipital bone.

It lies deep to the trapezius muscle and can be palpated as firm round muscle mass just lateral to the cervical spinous processes.

The semispinalis muscles are innervated by the dorsal rami of the cervical spinal nerves.

Additional images[edit]


This article incorporates text in the public domain from the 20th edition of Gray's Anatomy (1918)

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