Table of muscles of the human body: Neck

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Scheme of muscles of neck (left side, platysma muscle dissected)

This article lists the muscles found in the human neck.

Muscles of the human body: Overview
Head  |  Neck  |  Torso  |  Upper limbs  |  Lower limbs


quadriceps femors
     rectus femoris
     vastus lateralis
     vastus intermedius
     vastus medialis
Example of formatting used in tables to denote muscles and muscle groups.

The following tables of muscles have seven columns:

Often, a muscle is divided into other muscles; for example, the quadriceps femoris muscle is further subdivided into the rectus femoris, vastus lateralis, vastus intermedius and vastus medialis. In these cases, the name of the muscle group is italicized and the component muscles are indented. An example appears to the right.

For more information on many of the terms used within these tables, see anatomical terms of location, anatomical terms of motion, medical terminology, list of human anatomical features and outline of human anatomy.



digastricanterior belly - digastric fossa (mandible); posterior belly - mastoid process of temporal boneIntermediate tendon (hyoid bone)anterior belly - mandibular division of the trigeminal (CN V) via the mylohyoid nerve; posterior belly - facial nerve (CN VII)Opens the jaw when the masseter and the temporalis are relaxed.
stylohyoidstyloid process (temporal)greater cornu of hyoid bonefacial nerve (CN VII)Elevate the hyoid during swallowing
mylohyoidmylohyoid line (mandible)median raphémylohyoid branch of inferior alveolar arterymylohyoid nerve, from inferior alveolar branch of mandibular nerve [V3]Raises oral cavity floor, elevates hyoid, depresses mandible
geniohyoidsymphysis mentihyoid boneC1 via hypoglossal nervecarry hyoid bone and the tongue upward during deglutition


sternohyoidmanubrium of sternumhyoid boneansa cervicalisdepresses hyoid bone
sternothyroidmanubriumthyroid cartilageansa cervicalisElevates larynx, may slightly depress hyoid bone
thyrohyoidthyroid cartilagehyoid bonefirst cervical nervedepresses hyoid bone
omohyoidupper border of the scapulahyoid boneansa cervicalisDepresses the larynx and hyoid bone. Carries hyoid bone backward and to the side

Vertebral, attaching to the skull[edit]


rectus capitis anterioratlas (C1)occipital boneC1flexion of neck at atlanto-occipital joint
longus colliTransverse processes of C-3 - C-6Inferior surface of the occipital boneC2, C3, C4, C5, C6Flexes the neck and head
longus capitisanterior tubercles of the transverse processes of C3-C6basilar part of the occipital boneC1, C2, C3/C4flexion of neck at atlanto-occipital joint

(larapilo muscle)


rectus capitis lateralisupper surface of the transverse process of the atlas (C1)under surface of the jugular process of the occipital boneC1
obliquus capitis superiorlateral mass of atlaslateral half of the inferior nuchal linesuboccipital nerve


rectus capitis posterior minorthe tubercle on the posterior arch of the atlas (C1)the medial part of the inferior nuchal line of the occipital bone and the surface between it and the foramen magnuma branch of the dorsal primary division of the suboccipital nerveextends the head at the neck, but is now considered to be more of a sensory organ than a muscle
rectus capitis posterior majorspinous process of the axis (C2)inferior nucheal line of the occipital boneDorsal ramus of C1 (suboccipital nerve)
semispinalis capitisarticular processes of C4-C6; transverse processes of C7 and T1-T7occipital bone between the superior and inferior nuchal linesgreater occipital nerveExtension of the head
longissimus capitisarticular processes of C4-C7; transverse processes ot T1-T5posterior margin of the mastoid processlateral sacral arteryposterior branch of spinal nerveLaterally: Flex the head and neck to the same side. Bilaterally: Extend the vertebral column.
splenius capitisligamentum nuchae, spinous processes of C7-T6Mastoid processC3, C4Extend, rotate, and laterally flex the head

Vertebral, attaching to other vertebrae[edit]

obliquus capitis inferiorspinous process of the axis (C2)lateral mass of the atlas (C1)suboccipital nerve

Vertebral, attaching to ribs/scapula[edit]

scalene musclescervical vertebraefirst and second ribsascending cervical artery (branch of inferior thyroid artery)cervical nerves (C3, C4, C5, C6, C7elevation of ribs I&II
     anteriorC3-C6first ribascending cervical artery (branch of inferior thyroid artery)ventral ramus of C5, C6When the neck is fixed, elevates the first rib to aid in breathing or when the rib is fixed, bends the neck forward and sideways and rotates it to the opposite side
     mediusC2-C6first ribascending cervical artery (branch of inferior thyroid artery)ventral rami of the third to eighth cervical spinal nervesElevate 1st rib, rotate the neck to the opposite side
     posteriortransverse processes of C4 - C62nd ribascending cervical artery, superficial cervical arteryC6, C7, C8Elevate 2nd rib, tilt the neck to the same side
levator scapulaePosterior tubercles of transverse processes of C1 - C4Superior part of medial border of scapuladorsal scapular arterycervical nerve (C3, C4) and dorsal scapular nerve (C5)Elevates scapula and tilts its glenoid cavity inferiorly by rotating scapula

Muscles of the human body: Overview
Head  |  Neck  |  Torso  |  Upper limbs  |  Lower limbs


General references[edit]

External links[edit]