Anatomy of the Muscles of the Neck

muscles of the neck

The anatomy of the muscles of the neck is highly dependent on their position. During extension, the muscles of the posterior neck are most responsible. They are closely related to major blood vessels, nerves, and elements of the respiratory and gastrointestinal systems. In this article, we’ll discuss some of the major muscles of the neck, their function, and their anatomy. Anterior neck muscles include the digastric and mylohyoid muscles, while the deeper and superior layers are the deep and lateral neck flexors.

Trapezius muscle

The Trapezius muscle is the largest and most flexible of the muscles in the neck. It has three distinct parts, which interact with one another in an unison manner to move the head and shoulders. Moreover, it has a trapezoid structure, which suggests that it is not a typical muscle with a simple triangle shape. Here are some exercises to strengthen your Trapezius:

Lateral scalene muscle

In order to strengthen the lateral scalene muscle, you need to hold the ends of a resistance band to one side. While holding the band, pull it away from the head. Hold the band in place for six to seven seconds, and repeat. You can also use a squat machine, or simply a bench. But whichever way you do it, make sure you relax your neck muscles first.

Intermediate layer

The neck consists of three layers: the superficial, intermediate, and deep. The superficial layer includes muscles in the anterior neck, such as the splenius capitis, a thick rectangular muscle. This muscle attaches to the upper spine and is responsible for head rotation. The deep layer contains two muscles: the longissimus and the multifidus. These muscles all share a tendinous origin and are involved in the flexion and extension of the upper vertebrae.

Deep neck flexors

Rehabilitative ultrasound imaging is one method for measuring the depth of neck flexors (DNF). In a recent study, two investigators traced the muscle boundaries of eight female subjects. Five of the subjects reported a history of neck pain greater than six months, while the remaining three were asymptomatic controls. The cross-sectional area of the DNF was then calculated for both the right and left muscle groups.


The trapezius muscles of the neck originate from the spinous process of the seventh cervical vertebra. These muscles attach to the acromion (the head-shaped protuberance on the occipital bone) and the lateral third of the scapula. They also attach to the scapula itself. During movement, these muscles can cause the head to rotate or bend forward.


Symptoms of dysfunction of the Sternocleidomastoi musculature (SCM) can be similar to those of pharyngitis. They can include head and face pain and numerous trigger points, which are taut bands of muscle fibers that are sensitive to pressure. In some cases, symptoms of Sternocleidomastoid syndrome may even be associated with other illnesses or lifestyle problems.

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