Longus capitis

The longus capitis (Latin: musculus longus capitis) is a slender and long deep muscle of the neck. It lies anterior to the spine. The longus capitis is known as one of the prevertebral neck muscles, and it is covered by the prevertebral layer of the cervical fascia. It also belongs to the anterior neck muscles. The longus capitis is involved in flexion and rotation of the head.

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Longus capitis muscle by Anatomy Next
Longus capitis
Origin  Anterior tubercles of the transverse processes of the C3 - C6 vertebrae   
InsertionBasilar part of the occipital bone
Action

Unilateral contractions - rotation of the head (ipsilateral)

Bilateral contractions - flexion of the head and neck

InnervationAnterior rami of the 1st to 3rd cervical spinal nerves (C1 - C3)
  Blood supply  Ascending cervical, inferior thyroid arteries

 

Origin

The longus capitis muscle originates from the anterior tubercles of the transverse processes of the 3rd to 6th cervical vertebrae (C3 - C6).

 

Insertion

The longus capitis inserts on the basilar part of the occipital bone.

 

Action

By contracting on both sides, the longus capitis muscle flexes the head and neck. By contracting on one side, the activated muscle rotates the head to the ipsilateral side.

 

Innervation

The longus capitis is innervated by the anterior rami of the 1st to 3rd cervical spinal nerves (C1 - C3).

 

Blood supply

The longus capitis muscle receives arterial blood supply from the muscular branches of the ascending cervical and inferior thyroid arteries.