The Muscles of the Neck and How to Prevent Neck Injuries

Your healthcare provider can help you decide what muscle in the neck is injured. He or she may ask you to move your head, shoulders, or neck. Imaging tests may also be performed. If the muscles are injured, treatment may involve anti-inflammatory medications, muscle relaxants, or ice or cold compresses. This article will discuss the muscles of the neck and what they do to prevent further injury. Read on to learn about common treatments for neck muscle injuries.

Intertransversarii colli

The intertransversarii colli are the deep neck muscles that extend posteriorly from the cervical spine. They are located in the groove between the vertebral bodies and processes. The body of the muscle is divided into four portions based on the attachment sites. The intertransversarii muscles are visible in cross-section only in slices between the transverse processes. In addition, there are four parts of the longus colli, each of which has a distinct function.

Rectus capitis posterior major

The rectus capitis posterior minor muscle extends across the atlantooccipital joint. It contracts to keep the head in its proper position on the neck and also stabilizes the atlantooccipital membrane. These muscles play a critical role in the movement of the head, especially while standing. This muscle may also be affected by certain neuromuscular diseases or whiplash. Here are some common conditions affecting this muscle.

Obliquus capitis inferior

The obliquus capitis inferior muscle is located on the neck. It is the most inferiorly situated suboccipital muscle. The muscle inserts onto the transverse process of the C1 vertebra and innervated by the suboccipital nerve. The superior portion of this muscle is the most commonly injured and causes neck pain. Its main arteries supply motor innervation to the muscles.


The trapezius muscles neck and forearms are frequently involved in work that involves repetitive motion. Sewing machine operators, for example, engage in high-repetition finger movements while manipulating garments through the machine. The researchers found that workers with neck/shoulder disorders had significantly reduced endurance compared with controls. Root mean square values tended to be the most important indicator of fatigue in the trapezius. Although this study points to differences between the two groups, it doesn’t definitively establish a link between the two.


When the Scalenes muscles in the neck are tight, they can compromise the stability of the neck. The increased tension in the scalenes limits the range of motion of the muscles, impinging the brachial plexus, and even triggering thoracic outlet syndromes. Tight scalenes can also produce carpal tunnel-like symptoms. They are among the most common injuries presenting to chiropractors. As a result of chronic tension, the Scalenes become weak and reduce the function of surrounding tissues. This compromises posture and pain is the result.

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