Splenius is often divided into two muscles, splenius capitus (those fibres which insert on the skull) and splenius cervicis (those that insert onto the cervical transverse processes of the spine).


  • Lower half of the ligamentum nuchae.  
  • Spinous processes of C7-T5.  


  • Transverse processes of C3-7 Base of the skull.  


  • Head and neck extension
  • Contraction of one side laterally flexes and rotates the neck to the same side.


  • Posterior rami of the lower cervical spinal nerves.  
  • Lateral branches of the posterior rami of the middle and lower cervical spinal nerves.  

Daily uses

  • Looking up at the ceiling.  
  • Looking over your shoulder.

Example stretches

Related injuries

Related muscles