Splenius Capitis


splenius cervicis


nuchal ligament and spinous processes of c7-t6

origins of splenius muscles

mastoid process and lateral third of superior nuchal line

insertion of splenius capitis

c1-c4 transverse processes

insertion of splenius cervicis

erector spinae muscles








angles of ribs

insertion of lumborum and thoracis portions of iliocostalis

cervical transverse processes

insertion of cervicis portion of iliocostalis

thoracic transverse processes and adjacent ribs

insertion of thoracis portion of longissimus

cervical transverse processes

insertion of cervicis portion of longissimus

mastoid process

insertion of capitis portion of longissimus

spinous processes of upper thoracic and mid cervical vertebra

attachment of spinais



spinous processes and occipital bone

insertions of transversospinalis

semispinalis capitis


semispinalis cervicis/thoracis

superficial layer of transversospinalis muscle spanning 4-6 segments


middle layer of transversospinalis muscle spanning 2-4 segments and best developed in lumbar region


deepest layer of transversospinalis muscle spanning 1-2 segments and best developed in thoracic region

levator costarum

minor deep layer muscle that elevates ribs and aids in lateral flexion

interspinales and intertransversarii

minor deep layer muscles that stabilize the back and aid in lateral flexion, extension, and rotation

levator costarum






transverse processes

origin of levator costarum

between tubercle and angle of ribs

insertion of levator costarum

thoracolumbar fascia

three-layered dorsal aponeurosis that serves as a site of attachment, invests various muscles including the intrinsic back muscles

posterior layer of thoracolumbar fascia

portion of thoracolumbar fascia extending laterally from the spinous processes and overlying intrinsic muscles of the back, partial origin for latissimus dorsi

middle layer of thoracolumbar fascia

portion of thoracolumbar fascia extending laterally from transverse processes, investing the ventral side of the back's deep muscles. Continuous with tendon of origin for the transversus abdominis and internal abdominal oblique

anterior (ventral) layer of thoracolumbar fascia

deepest layer of thoracolumbar fascia

suboccipital muscles

deepest of the dorsal cervical muscles with primarily postural and proprioceptive functions

suboccipital nerve (dorsal ramus of c1)

innervation of suboccipital muscles

vertebral and occipital arteries

blood supply of suboccipital muscles

rectus capitis posterior major


spinous process of axis

origin of rectus capitis posterior major and obliquus capitis inferior

middle portion of inferior nuchal line

insertion of rectus capitis muscles and obliquus capitis superior

rectus capitis posterior minor


posterior tubercle of atlas

origin of rectus capitis posterior minor

obliquus capitis superior


transverse process of atlas

origin of obliquus capitis superior and insertion of obliquus capitis inferior

obliquus capitis inferior


suboccipital triangle


trapezius, spenius capitis, and semispinalis capitis

roof of suboccipital triangle

rectus capitis posterior and obliquus capitis muscles

borders of suboccipital triangle

posterior atlanto-occipital membrane and posterior arch of atlas

floor of suboccipital triangle

suboccipital nerve

nerve that emerges from the center of suboccipital triangle and gives muscular branches to suboccipital muscles

vertebral artery

artery that passes through the suboccipital triangle

greater occipital nerve

nerve that emerges inferior to obliquus capitis inferior and pierces semispinalis muscle to innervate skin of posterior scalp

occipital artery

branch of carotid artery that emerges lateral to obliquus capitis superior and courses superiorly to supply posterior scalp