The muscles of the posterior of the neck

Name of muscle

Position

Attachments

Action/s

Key facts

Splenius capitis

(splee-knee-us kap-i-tis)

Long muscle in posterior of neck

Extends from the spinous processes of C7-T3 (7th cervical to 3rd thoracic vertebrae) to the mastoid process of the temporal bone and the occipital bone

Extension of the head and neck, lateral flexion of the head and neck

Shaped like a bandage and attaches onto the head

The right and left splenius captitis muscles form a 'V' shape

Splenius cervicus (splee-knee-us ser-vi-sis)

Long muscle in posterior of neck (fibres slightly thinner and longer than splenius capitis)

Extends from the spinous processes of T3-T6 (3rd thoracic to 6th thoracic vertebrae) to the transverse processes of CI-C3 (1st cervical to 3rd cervical vertebrae)

Extension of the neck, lateral flexion of the neck

Shaped like a bandage and attaches onto the cervical spine. The right and left splenius cervicus muscles form a 'V' shape

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