Splenius Capitis

Original Editor - Venus Pagare

Top Contributors - Oyemi Sillo, Venus Pagare and Tarina van der Stockt  


Musculus splenius capitis is one of the deep (or intrinsic) muscles of the back. It is a broad strap-like muscle in the back of the neck. Deep to Sternocleidomastoid at the mastoid process.[1]

Musculus splenius capitis marked.png


Lower half of Nuchal ligament (C4-C6) and spinous process of C7-T3[2][3]


Superior nuchal line, Mastoid process of temporal bone, and rough surface adjoining occipital bone[2][3]

Nerve Supply

Dorsal ramus of spinal nerves C3-C6[2]

Blood Supply

Muscular branches of the occipital artery from the external carotid artery. [2]


Acting bilaterally: extension of the head and neck;
Acting unilaterally: lateral flexion of the head and neck and rotation the head to the same side. [3]


It also assists in supporting the head in the erect position[1]


  1. 1.0 1.1 Gray's Anatomy of Human Body, Bartleby.com edition. New York: 2000.fckLRhttp://www.bartleby.com/107/115.html
  2. 2.0 2.1 2.2 2.3 http://www.anatomyexpert.com/structure_detail/5203/
  3. 3.0 3.1 3.2 http://www.wheelessonline.com/ortho/splenius_capitis