Splenius Capitis Anatomy

Spenius Capitis Muscle

Origin:
Lower half of the nuchal ligament, the spinous processes and supraspinous ligaments of C7 to T3
Insertion: Lateral occipital bone, between the superior and inferior nuchal lines
Actions: Extension of the head and cervical spine when acting bilaterally
Innervation: Dorsal primary rami of C3 to C5
Blood Supply: Descending branches of the occipital artery and the superior intercostal artery

Primary Actions of the Splenius Capitis

1. Extension of the head and cervical spine when acting bilaterally
  Agonists:
  • Longissimus Capitis
  • Spinalis Capitis
  • Semispinalis Capitis
  • Sternocleidomastoid
  Antagonists:
  • Longus Capitis
  • Sternocleidomastoid (anterior fibers)
2. Lateral flexion of the head and cervical spine when acting unilaterally
  Agonists:
  • Sternocleidomastoid
  Antagonists:
  • Sternocleidomastoid on the opposite side

Semispinalis capitis assists with lateral flexion of the head and cervical spine.

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

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