Follow and Like Us:

Longissimus Capitis Anatomy: Origin, Insertion, Actions, Innervation

Longissimus Capitis AnatomyLongissimus Capitis Anatomy


Origin: By tendons from the posterior surfaces of the transverse processes of T1 to T5 and the articular processes of C4 or C5-7
Insertion: Posterior margin of the mastoid process of the occipital bone
Action: Extension of the head and cervical spine
Innervation: Dorsal primary rami of C4 to T5
Blood Supply: Descending branches of the occipital artery

Synergist: Trapezius, Semispinalis capitis, Rectus capitis posterior major and minor, Oblique capitis superior, Splenius capitis, Sternocleidomastoid

Antagonist: Longus capitis, Rectus capitis



Primary Actions Longissimus Capitis:

1. Extension of the head and cervical spine when acting bilaterally

    • Agonists: Spinalis Capitis, Splenius Capitis, Semispinalis Capitis, Sternocleidomastoid (posterior fibers)
    • Antagonists: Longus Capitis, Sternocleidomastoid (posterior fibers)

Secondary Actions Longissimus Capitis:

  1. Assists with ipsilateral rotation of the cervical spine and head when acting unilaterally
    • Agonists: Rectus Capitis Posterior Major, Obliquus Capitis Inferior
    • Antagonists: Rectus Capitis Posterior Major, Obliquus Capitis Inferior on the opposite side

For pain and symptom information: Longissimus Capitis Muscle: Head, Ear, Eye and Neck Pain 

Recommended Anatomy Books

The Anatomy Coloring Book is one of the best study and reference books for beginning anatomy students. The diagrams are clearly labeled and allow you to see the relationship and placement of the various structures of the body. You will also be surprised how the act of coloring will help with recall. But this is not just a beginners book, it is also great for practitioners and therapists to have on hand to use with clients and patients to use as a visual reference.


Trail Guide To The Body


The Trail Guide To The Body is another excellent book to help you learn the musculature of the human body. Though the book is geared toward massage therapists and physical therapist assistants, the book with its illustrations and text helps anyone gain a thorough understanding of the human musculoskeletal system and movement. I highly recommend this book for anyone studying anatomy and believe that MTs, PTAs, and teachers of body movements should have this book in their possession. I also highly recommend this book for the lay person who wants to gain understanding of the muscle, skeletal system and how our bodies move.  This book will not disappoint!



The Trigger Point Therapy Workbook – Claire Davies, Amber Davies, and David G. Simons

Basic Clinical Massage Therapy: Integrating Anatomy and Treatment – James H. Clay and David M. Pounds

Trigger Point Therapy for Myofascial Pain – Donna Finando and Steven Finando

Massage Therapy Principles and Practice – Susan Salvo

Theory & Practice of Therapeutic Massage – Mark Beck


Leave a Comment