Splenius Cervicis – Functional Anatomy

Origin – spinous processes of T3-T6

Insertion – anterior aspect of the transverse processes of C1-C3

Function – unilaterally this is involved in rotation and side-bending of the neck. Bilaterally, these muscles extend the neck.


“Splenius” comes from the Greek word “splenion” meaning “bandage.” This muscle acts as a wrap around the muscles of the neck.


A lateral view of the splenii showing how they compress the cervicals as they extend, side bend and rotate the head and upper neck.

Wikipedia entry for Splenius Capitis


This site is undergoing changes. Starting in early 2020, we began changing the format of the posts to include more extensive self-care, illustrations, therapist notes, anatomy, and protocols. We’d love your feedback. We are adding posts and converting the old posts as quickly as time permits.


Tony Preston has a practice in Atlanta, Georgia where he sees clients. He has written and taught about anatomy, trigger points and cranial therapies since the mid-90s.

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