The posterior division of the third cervical is intermediate in size between those of the second and fourth. Its medial branch runs between the Semispinalis capitis and cervicis, and, piercing the Splenius and Trapezius, ends in the skin. While under the Trapezius it gives off a branch called the third occipital nerve, which pierces the Trapezius and ends in the skin of the lower part of the back of the head.It lies medial to the greater occipital and communicates with it. The lateral branch often joins that of the second cervical.

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 http://www.bartleby.com/107/).


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