The Muscles of the Neck

The muscles of the neck are responsible for the flexion and elevation of the second rib. These muscles are supplied by the spinal nerves C6-C8 and ascending cervical branches of the inferior thyroid artery. When acting from below, they help with ipsilateral flexion of the neck. Their blood supply comes from the anterior rami of spinal nerves C6 and C8, and they also receive a branch of the thyrocervical trunk from the transverse cervical branch of the inferior thyroid artery.


The Subclavius muscles of the neck are important for a number of reasons. First, these muscles are responsible for separating the anterior and posterior triangles of the neck. As such, they are highly complex structures with many metabolic functions. Secondly, they are responsible for the formation of the shoulder blade. And finally, they provide strength to the neck. However, the subclavius muscles are also essential for a variety of other purposes.


The trapezius muscle originates from the spinous processes of T4-T12 vertebrae and the superior scapula. Its fibers attach on the superior angle of the scapula and the medial border of the scapular spine. The trapezius produces overhead press. Its middle fibers are responsible for scapular adduction and retraction.


The sternocleidomastoid muscles are located in the neck and extend from the thorax to the base of the skull behind the ear. Their primary function is to flex the neck and turn the head to one side. Whenever the head is fixed, the sternocleidomastoid muscles aid in breathing deep. This type of injury can result from a number of reasons.

Obliquus capitis inferior

The obliquus capitis inferior muscle is part of the suboccipital group of muscles in the neck. It originates from the spinous process of the C2 vertebra and passes laterally and superiorly before inserting into the transverse process of the atlas. This muscle rotates the atlas. The two muscles of this group are lateral to each other and are responsible for the extension and rotation of the head.

Obliquus capitis superior

The obliquus capitis superior is a small, triangular paired muscle of the neck located deep in the upper cervical region. It originates from the atlas bone and inserts into the occipital bone. Although it contributes to the head’s extenson, it is more important as a postural muscle. The anatomy of this muscle is discussed below.

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