Deep muscles of the neck

Deep muscles of the neck: Anatomy and FunctionAnatomy, function, blood supply and innervation of deep muscles of the neck
~ 2 min

There are the following borders of the neck region:

  • The superior border passes through the inferior border of the mandible, temporomandibular joint, mastoid process, superior nuchal line, and the external occipital protuberance

  • The inferior border passes through the jugular notch, clavicle, acromion of the scapula, and the spinous process of the C7 verteb

    Borders of the neck region
    Borders of the neck region

    There are several anatomical regions within the neck:

  • Anterior cervical region (regio cervicalis anterior)

  • Lateral cervical region (regio cervicalis lateralis)

  • Posterior cervical region (regio cervicalis posterior)

  • Sternocleidomastoid region (regio sternocleidomastoidea)

Regions within the neck
Regions within the neck

The muscles of the neck are located within these anatomical areas. They are divided into superficial and deep muscles.

There are two groups of the deep muscles:

  • Lateral group

  • Medial (prevertebral) group The lateral group includes:

  • Scalenus anterior muscle (m. scalenus anterior)

    Scalenus anterior muscle (m. scalenus anterior)
    Scalenus anterior muscle (m. scalenus anterior)
    Scalenus anterior muscle (m. scalenus anterior)
    Scalenus anterior muscle (m. scalenus anterior)
    Scalenus anterior muscle (m. scalenus anterior)
    Scalenus anterior muscle (m. scalenus anterior)
    Scalenus anterior muscle (m. scalenus anterior)
    Scalenus anterior muscle (m. scalenus anterior)
    Scalenus anterior muscle
    (m. scalenus anterior)

    Origin: anterior tubercles of transverse processes of the C2-C6 vertebrae

    Insertion: tubercle of the scalenus anterior muscle on the 1st rib

    Function: when the spine is fixed, it lifts the 1st and 2nd ribs, participating in the act of inhalation; when the ribs are fixed, it flexes the cervical spine, with unilateral contraction, it flexes it in its own direction

    Innervation: cervical plexus (C5-C8)

    Blood supply: ascending artery of the neck, inferior thyroid artery

  • Scalenus medius muscle (m. scalenus medius)

    Scalenus medius muscle (m. scalenus medius)
    Scalenus medius muscle (m. scalenus medius)
    Scalenus medius muscle (m. scalenus medius)
    Scalenus medius muscle (m. scalenus medius)
    Scalenus medius muscle (m. scalenus medius)
    Scalenus medius muscle (m. scalenus medius)
    Scalenus medius muscle (m. scalenus medius)
    Scalenus medius muscle (m. scalenus medius)
    Scalenus medius muscle
    (m. scalenus medius)

    Origin: anterior tubercles of transverse processes of the C2-C6 vertebrae

    Insertion: tubercle of the scalenus medius muscle on the 1st rib

    Function: when the spine is fixed, it lifts the 1st and 2nd ribs, participating in the act of inhalation; when the ribs are fixed, it flexes the cervical spine, with unilateral contraction, it flexes it in its own direction

    Innervation: cervical plexus (C3-C8)

    Blood supply: deep cervical artery, vertebral artery, transverse cervical artery

  • Scalenus posterior muscle (m. scalenus posterior)

    Scalenus posterior muscle (m. scalenus posterior)
    Scalenus posterior muscle (m. scalenus posterior)
    Scalenus posterior muscle (m. scalenus posterior)
    Scalenus posterior muscle (m. scalenus posterior)
    Scalenus posterior muscle (m. scalenus posterior)
    Scalenus posterior muscle (m. scalenus posterior)
    Scalenus posterior muscle (m. scalenus posterior)
    Scalenus posterior muscle (m. scalenus posterior)
    Scalenus posterior muscle
    (m. scalenus posterior)

    Origin: anterior tubercles of transverse processes of the C4-C6 vertebrae

    Insertion: tubercle of the scalenus posterior muscle on the 2nd rib

    Function: when the spine is fixed, it lifts the 1st and 2nd ribs, participating in the act of inhalation; when the ribs are fixed, it flexes the cervical spine, with unilateral contraction, it flexes it in its own direction

    Innervation: cervical plexus (C7-C8)

    Blood supply: deep artery of the neck, transverse cervical artery, posterior intercostal artery

    The medial (prevertebral) group includes:

  • Longus colli muscle (m. longus colli)

    Longus colli muscle (m. longus colli)
    Longus colli muscle (m. longus colli)
    Longus colli muscle (m. longus colli)
    Longus colli muscle (m. longus colli)
    Longus colli muscle
    (m. longus colli)

    Origin:

    Vertical part arises from the bodies of the C2-C5, Th1-Th3 vertebrae

    Superior oblique part arises from the transverse processes of the C3-C5 vertebrae

    Inferior oblique part arises from the bodies of the Th1-Th3 vertebrae

    Insertion:

    Vertical part inserts into the bodies of the C2-C4 vertebrae

    Superior oblique part inserts into the anterior tubercle of the atlas and the bodies of the underlying cervical vertebrae

    Inferior oblique part inserts into the anterior tubercles of the C5-C7 vertebrae

    Function: with a bilateral contraction, it tilts the neck anteriorly, with a unilateral contraction, it tilts the neck laterally

    Innervation: cervical plexus (C2-C6)

    Blood supply: vertebral artery, ascending artery of the neck, deep cervical artery

  • Longus capitis muscle (m. longus capitis)

    Longus capitis muscle (m. longus capitis)
    Longus capitis muscle (m. longus capitis)
    Longus capitis muscle (m. longus capitis)
    Longus capitis muscle (m. longus capitis)
    Longus capitis muscle
    (m. longus capitis)

    Origin: anterior tubercles of transverse processes of the C3-C6 vertebrae

    Insertion: basilar part of the occipital bone

    Function: with a bilateral contraction, it tilts the head and neck anteriorly, with a unilateral contraction, it tilts the head and neck laterally

    Innervation: Cervical plexus (C1-C4)

    Blood supply: vertebral artery, ascending artery of the neck, deep cervical artery

  • Rectus capitis anterior muscle (m. rectus capitis anterior)

    Rectus capitis anterior muscle (m. rectus capitis anterior)
    Rectus capitis anterior muscle (m. rectus capitis anterior)
    Rectus capitis anterior muscle
    (m. rectus capitis anterior)

    Origin: lateral part of the anterior arch of the atlas

    Insertion: basilar part of the occipital bone

    Function: tilts the head in the anterior direction

    Innervation: Cervical plexus (C1)

    Blood supply: vertebral artery, ascending pharyngeal artery

  • Rectus capitis lateralis muscle (m. rectus capitis lateralis)

    Rectus capitis lateralis muscle (m. rectus capitis lateralis)
    Rectus capitis lateralis muscle (m. rectus capitis lateralis)
    Rectus capitis lateralis muscle (m. rectus capitis lateralis)
    Rectus capitis lateralis muscle (m. rectus capitis lateralis)
    Rectus capitis lateralis muscle
    (m. rectus capitis lateralis)

    Origin: transverse process of the atlas

    Insertion: lateral part of the occipital bone

    Function: tilts the head laterally

    Innervation: Cervical plexus (C1)

    Blood supply: occipital artery, vertebral artery

    Also, the so-called suboccipital muscles (mm. suboccipitales), which are sometimes classified as muscles of the back, constitute a separate group:

  • Rectus capitis posterior minor muscle (m. rectus capitis posterior minor)

    Rectus capitis posterior minor muscle (m. rectus capitis posterior minor)
    Rectus capitis posterior minor muscle (m. rectus capitis posterior minor)
    Rectus capitis posterior minor muscle
    (m. rectus capitis posterior minor)

    Origin: posterior tubercle of the atlas

    Insertion: medial part of the inferior nuchal line

    Function: with bilateral contraction, it extends the head, with unilateral contraction, it turns the head ipsilaterally (in its own direction)

    Innervation: occipital nerve, which is a posterior branch of the spinal nerve (C1)

    Blood supply: deep cervical artery

  • Rectus capitis posterior major muscle (m. rectus capitis posterior major)

    Rectus capitis posterior major muscle (m. rectus capitis posterior major)
    Rectus capitis posterior major muscle (m. rectus capitis posterior major)
    Rectus capitis posterior major muscle
    (m. rectus capitis posterior major)

    Origin: spinous process of the C2 vertebra (axis)

    Insertion: lateral part of the inferior nuchal line

    Function: with bilateral contraction, it extends the head, with unilateral contraction, it turns the head ipsilaterally (in its own direction)

    Innervation: occipital nerve, which is a posterior branch of the spinal nerve (C1)

    Blood supply: deep cervical artery

  • Obliquus capitis inferior muscle (m. obliquus capitis inferior)

    Obliquus capitis inferior muscle (m. obliquus capitis inferior)
    Obliquus capitis inferior muscle (m. obliquus capitis inferior)
    Obliquus capitis inferior muscle
    (m. obliquus capitis inferior)

    Origin: spinous process of the C2 vertebra (axis)

    Insertion: transverse process of the C1 vertebra (atlas)

    Function: with bilateral contraction, it extends the head, with unilateral contraction, it turns the head ipsilaterally (in its own direction)

    Innervation: occipital nerve, which is a posterior branch of the spinal nerve (C1)

    Blood supply: deep cervical artery

  • Obliquus capitis superior muscle (m. obliquus capitis superior)

Obliquus capitis superior muscle (m. obliquus capitis superior)
Obliquus capitis superior muscle (m. obliquus capitis superior)
Obliquus capitis superior muscle
(m. obliquus capitis superior)

Origin: transverse process of the C1 vertebra (atlas)

Insertion: occipital bone between the superior and inferior nuchal lines

Function: with bilateral contraction, it extends the head, with unilateral contraction, it turns and tilts the head ipsilaterally (in its own direction)

Innervation: occipital nerve, which is a posterior branch of the spinal nerve (C1)

Blood supply: deep cervical artery

Dictionary

Deep muscles of the neck

Anterior cervical region
regio cervicalis anterior
Lateral cervical region
regio cervicalis lateralis
Posterior cervical region
regio cervicalis posterior
Sternocleidomastoid region
regio sternocleidomastoidea
Scalenus anterior muscle
m. scalenus anterior
Scalenus medius muscle
m. scalenus medius
Scalenus posterior muscle
m. scalenus posterior
Longus colli muscle
m. longus colli
Longus capitis muscle
m. longus capitis
Rectus capitis anterior muscle
m. rectus capitis anterior
Rectus capitis lateralis muscle
m. rectus capitis lateralis
Suboccipital muscles
mm. suboccipitales
Rectus capitis posterior minor muscle
m. rectus capitis posterior minor
Rectus capitis posterior major muscle
m. rectus capitis posterior major
Obliquus capitis inferior muscle
m. obliquus capitis inferior
Obliquus capitis superior muscle
m. obliquus capitis superior
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