Splenius capitis muscle

Last revised by Assoc Prof Frank Gaillard on 02 Aug 2021

The splenius capitis is a strap-like muscles that, along with the splenius cervicis, comprise the superficial layer of intrinsic back muscles.

  • origin: ligamentum nuchae, and the tips of the spinous processes and associated supraspinous ligaments of C7 and the upper three to four thoracic vertebrae
  • insertion:  mastoid process and rough surface of the occipital bone below the lateral third of the superior nuchal line
  • lateral branches of the 2nd and 3rd cervical dorsal rami from the cervical plexus
  • rotates the head to the same side: when acting unilaterally and synergistically with the sternocleidomastoid
  • extends the head: when acting bilaterally

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