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  • Superficial


  • Processus spinosi C7-Th12
  • Ligamentum nuchae
  • Protuberantia externa occipitale


  • Lateral 1/3 of clavicula
  • Acromion
  • Spina scapula

Main function

  • Neck
    • Lateral flexion
    • Extension
    • Contralateral rotation
  • Scapula
    • Elevation
    • Retraction
    • Depression

Secondary function

  • Scapula
    • Upward rotation
  • Trunk
    • Extesion

Segmental nerve innervation

  • C2-C4

Arterial supply

  • Transverse cervikal artery
  • Dorsal scapular artery

Referred pain pattern

Trapezius - pain pattern posterior aspect
Trapezius - pain pattern lateral aspect

Muscle Type

  • Upper fibres: Postural
  • Middle and lower fibers: Phasic (weakens when stressed)


Upper fibers

  • Headache over the eye, into eye, or into the temporal area
  • Stiff neck
  • Pain with light pressure, such as wearing a bra, backpack over shoulders etc.

Middle fibers

  • Burning pain between scapula and vertebras
  • 'Goosebumps' on lateral surface of upper arm

Possible causes for tension

  • Postural asymmetries caused by pelvic tilt or rotation of the trunk

Muscle attachment zones


Short version

Detailed version

Important functions

  • Works to maintain the head in neutral position if there are structural compensation patterns in other parts of the body. Such as deviations in the pelvis, trunk or feet, which again would cause a lateral tilt of head if not corrected.
  • Plays an important role in movement and stabilization of the Scapula for initiating movement of the shoulder-joint

Notes of clinical importance

Myofascial lines

Superficial dorsal arm line