Splenius capitis muscle

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Splenius capitis muscle
Musculus splenius capitis marked.png
Muscles connecting the upper extremity to the vertebral column (splenius capitis et cervicis labeled at upper right).
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Section of the neck at about the level of the sixth cervical vertebra. Showing the arrangement of the deep cervical fascia (splenius capitis labeled at bottom right).
Latin Musculus splenius capitis
Gray's p.397
Origin Nuchal ligament and spinous process of C7-T3
Insertion Mastoid process of temporal and occipital bone
Artery Muscular branches of the aorta
Nerve Posterior ramus of spinal nerves C3 and C4
Actions Extend, rotate, and laterally flex the head
Anatomical terms of muscle

The splenius capitis (/ˈsplni.əs ˈkæpɨtɨs/) (from Greek spléníon, meaning "bandage", and Latin caput, meaning "head"[1][2]) is a broad, straplike muscle in the back of the neck. It pulls on the base of the skull from the vertebrae in the neck and upper thorax. It is involved in simple movements such as shaking the head.

Structure[edit]

It arises from the lower half of the nuchal ligament, from the spinous process of the seventh cervical vertebra, and from the spinous processes of the upper three or four thoracic vertebrae.

The fibers of the muscle are directed upward and laterally and are inserted, under cover of the sternocleidomastoideus, into the mastoid process of the temporal bone, and into the rough surface on the occipital bone just below the lateral third of the superior nuchal line.

The splenius capitis is deep to sternocleidomastoideus at the mastoid process, and to the trapezius for its lower portion.

The splenius capitis muscle is innervated by the posterior ramus of spinal nerves C3 and C4.

It is one of the muscles that forms the floor of the posterior triangle of the neck.

Action[edit]

The splenius capitis muscle is a prime mover for head extension. The splenius capitis can also allow lateral flexion and rotation of the cervical spine.

Additional images[edit]

References[edit]

This article incorporates text from a public domain edition of Gray's Anatomy.

  1. ^ Dr. M. A. (Toby) Arnold; Deborah Bryce. "Arnold's Glossary of Anatomy". The University of Sydney. 
  2. ^ "Splenius capitis muscle - definition of Splenius capitis muscle in the Medical dictionary". Medical-dictionary.thefreedictionary.com. Retrieved 2011-08-18. 

See also[edit]

This article uses anatomical terminology; for an overview, see anatomical terminology.

External links[edit]