Posterior Scalene

Original Editor - Wendy Walker

Lead Editors - Kim Jackson, Wendy Walker, Evan Thomas and Daphne Jackson


Posterior Scalene, AKA Scalenus Posterior,  is one of the lateral muscles of the neck, belonging to the Scalene group. It is deeply placed, lying behind Sternocleidomastoid.

Scalenus posterior - animation03.gif


C4 to 6

Posterior tubercles of the transverse processes of cervical vertebrae 4 to 6


2nd Rib

Anterior surface of the 2nd rib, posterior to the tubercle for serratus anterior

Nerve Supply

Branchial Plexus C6 to 8

Branches of the ventral rami of cervical spinal nerves C6 to 8

Blood Supply

Ascending cervical artery and superficial cervical artery


Acting from above: elevation of the 2nd rib

Acting from below, with Anterior and Middle Scalene cervical side flexion and rotation[1]


Acting from above: acccessorymuscle of inspiration

Acting from below, cervical side flexion and rotation; if both sides acting, small degree of cervical flexion



  1. J Orthop Sports Phys Ther. 2002 Oct;32(10):488-96.fckLRActions of the scalene muscles for rotation of the cervical spine in macaque and human.fckLRBuford JA, Yoder SM, Heiss DG, Chidley JV