The anterior divisions of the cervical nerves (rami anteriores), with the exception of the first, pass outward between the Intertransversarii anterior and posterior, lying on the grooved upper surfaces of the transverse processes of the vertebræ.
The anterior division of the first or suboccipital nerve issues from the vertebral canal above the posterior arch of the atlas and runs forward around the lateral aspect of its superior articular process, medial to the vertebral artery. In most cases it descends medial to and in front of the Rectus capitis lateralis, but occasionally it pierces the muscle.
The anterior divisions of the upper four cervical nerves unite to form the cervical plexus, and each receives a gray ramus communicans from the superior cervical ganglion of the sympathetic trunk.
Those of the lower four cervical, together with the greater part of the first thoracic, form the brachial plexus. They each receive a gray ramus communicans, those for the fifth and sixth being derived from the middle, and those for the seventh and eighth from the lowest, cervical ganglion of the sympathetic trunk.