Muscle Anatomy of the Splenius Cervicis Muscle

Origin: Spinous processes and supraspinous ligaments of T3 to T6

Insertion: Posterior tubercles of transverse processes of C1 to C3

Actions: Extention of the cervical spine, lateral flexion of the cervical spine, rotation of the cervical spine

Innervation: Dorsal primary rami of C5 to C7

Blood Supply: Posterior rami of the intercostal and deep cervical branch of costocervical trunk arteries

Splenius Cervicis Muscle

Splenius Cervicis Muscle Actions

Primary Actions of the Splenius Cervicis

1. Extension of the cervical spine when acting bilaterally

  Agonists:

  • Longissimus cervicis
  • Spinalis cervicis
  • Semispinalis cervicis
  • Iliocostalis cervicis

  Antagonists:

  • Longus colli
  • Scalenus anterior
  • Scalenus medius

2. Lateral Flexion of the cervical spine when acting unilaterally

  Agonists:

  • Scalenus anterior
  • Scalenus medius
  • Scalenus posterior
  • Iliocostalis cervicis
  • Semispinalis cervicis

  Antagonists: Same muscles on the contralateral side

  •  Scalenus anterior
  • Scalenus medius
  • Scalenus posterior
  • Iliocostalis cervicis
  • Semispinalis cervicis

Secondary Actions of the Splenius Cervicis:

1. Assists with ipsilateral rotation of the cervical spine when acting unilaterally

  Agonists:

  •  Rectus capitis posterior
  • Obliquus capitis inferior

  Antagonists: Same muscles on contralateral side

  • Rectus capitis posterior
  • Obliquus capitis inferior
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Recommended Beginner 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.

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.

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