Origin: Transverse processes of T6-C3

Insertion: Area between superior and inferior nuchal line

Nerve: Greater occipital nerve and posterior rami of spinal nerves of C1-C5

Action: Extend the head

The Semispinalis capitis (Complexus) is situated at the upper and back part of the neck, beneath the Splenius, and medial to the Longissimus cervicis and capitis.

It arises by a series of tendons from the tips of the transverse processes of the upper six or seven thoracic and the seventh cervical vertebrae, and from the articular processes of the three cervical above this. The tendons, uniting, form a broad muscle, which passes upward, and is inserted between the superior and inferior nuchal lines of the occipital bone. The medial part, usually more or less distinct from the remainder of the muscle, is frequently termed the Spinalis capitis; it is also named the Biventer cervicis since it is traversed by an imperfect tendinous inscription.

This definition incorporates text from a public domain edition of Gray's Anatomy (20th U.S. edition of Gray's Anatomy of the Human Body, published in 1918 – from


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