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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 transverse processes of C3 - C6 vertebrae
InsertionBasilar part of occipital bone

Unilateral contractions - rotation of head (ipsilateral)

Bilateral contractions - flexion of head and neck

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



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



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



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.



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.