Splenius cervicis muscle

The splenius cervicis (/ˈsplniəs sərˈvsɪs/) (also known as the splenius colli, /- ˈkɒl/) is a muscle in the back of the neck. It arises by a narrow tendinous band from the spinous processes of the third to the sixth thoracic vertebrae; it is inserted, by tendinous fasciculi, into the posterior tubercles of the transverse processes of the upper two or three cervical vertebrae.

Splenius cervicis muscle
Muscles connecting the upper extremity to the vertebral column. (Splenius capitis et cervicis labeled at upper right, at neck.)
OriginSpinous processes of T3-T6
InsertionTransverse processes of C1-C3
ArteryTransverse cervical artery and occipital artery
NervePosterior rami of the lower Cervical spinal nerves
ActionsBilaterally: Extend the head & neck, Unilaterally: Lateral flexion to the same side, Rotation to the same side.
LatinMusculus splenius cervicis
Anatomical terms of muscle

Its name is based on the Greek word σπληνίον, splenion (meaning a bandage) and the Latin word cervix (meaning a neck).[1] The word collum also refers to the neck in Latin.[1]

The function of the splenius cervicis muscle is extension of the cervical spine, rotation to the ipsilateral side and lateral flexion to the ipsilateral side.[2]

Additional images


This article incorporates text in the public domain from page 397 of the 20th edition of Gray's Anatomy (1918)

  1. Dr. M. A. (Toby) Arnold; Deborah Bryce. "Arnold's Glossary of Anatomy". The University of Sydney.
  2. R.T. Floyd, Manual of Structural Kinesiology, 2012, 18th Ed.

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