Longissimus Capitis Anatomy

Longissimus Capitis O, I, A

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

Primary Actions of the 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 (anterior fibers)

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Secondary Actions of the Longissimus Capitis

2.  Assists with ipsilateral rotation of the head and cervical spine when acting unilaterally

Agonists:
  • Rectus capitis posterior major
  • Obliquus capitis inferior
  Antagonists: same muscles on contralateral side

  • Rectus capitis posterior major
  • Obliquus capitis inferior