Semispinalis Cervicis


Semispinalis Cervicis belongs to the Transversospinal group of muscles, formed of muscles between a spinous process and the transverse process of the vertebrae below .[1] [2]

Semispinalis c.jpg


Transverse processes of T1 to T6, articular processes of the 4th to 7th cervical vertebrae[3][4]


Spinous processes of C2 to C5[3]

Nerve Supply

Dorsal rami of cervical spinal nerves[3][4]

Blood Supply

Deep cervical artery[4]


Acting bilaterally: extension of the cervical spine

Acting unilaterally: lateral flexion of the neck and rotation to the opposite side.[3] 


Maintains head posture.[5]  

It was found that during neck pain the deep cervical extensor muscle semispinalis cervicis has shown reduction in activation [6]

manual resistance done in extension over the vertebral arch of C1 and C4 emphasized the activation of the semispinalis cervicis muscle relative to the splenius capitis at the spinal level directly caudal to the site of resistance. [6]


  1. Gray, Henry. Anatomy of the Human Body. Philadelphia: Lea & Febiger, 1918;, 2000.
  2. National Center for Biotechnology Information, Anatomy, Back, Muscles StatPearls [Internet]. available from: (24 july 2019)
  3. 3.0 3.1 3.2 3.3 Wheeless`textbook of orthopedic, Semispinalis Cervicis, available from: (24july 2019 )
  4. 4.0 4.1 4.2
  6. 6.0 6.1 J Schomacher, J Erlenwein, A Dieterich, F Petzke, F Petzkeb, D Falla. Can neck exercises enhance the activation of the semispinalis cervicis relative to the splenius capitis at specific spinal levels? Manual therapy, October 2015:20: 694-702.