Anatomy of Neck Muscles

Various Parts of the Neck

In order to understand the anatomy of the neck muscles you need to understand the various parts of the neck. The human neck is composed of various muscles and nerves which are used to perform various functions and thereby assist the head in proper movement. The head rotation is primarily dependent upon the neck muscles.

The neck of the humans like other parts of the body consists of neck muscles which apart from helping in the neck movement also help in providing structural support to the head. Without the effective cooperation of the muscles of the neck, it is not possible for the head to function properly since the neck provides flexibility to the head to move properly.

Importance of Neck

Neck is said to act as a connecting link between the head and the rest of the body and hence assumes all the more importance. The anatomy of neck is primarily studied by the doctors and the surgeons, dentists as well as speech language pathologists.

With regard to the anatomy of neck muscles they consist of a large number of muscles which together makes the functioning of the neck possible. In the posterior of the neck sternocleidomastoid muscle is found. It is said to begin in the anterior of the neck. It divides the neck into anterior and posterior triangles. When the muscle on the left of the neck is contracted then the neck will turn rightwards and when the muscle on the right contracts then it will turn leftwards.

A small portion of the trapezius muscle too is found to be attached to the neck. On the other hand, the splenius capitis is said to be a wide muscle of the neck. This muscle is said to be found at the rear of the skull and it helps the head in rotation process since once it contracts the head will rotate. Yet another muscle is the semispinalis capitis which has its origin near the occipital bone. It needs to be mentioned that both of these muscles are in fact responsible for the rotation of the head. In the elongation of the neck too, both these work together.

Longissimus Capitis

This muscle is helpful in the slight rotation of the neck, as well as in mild bending of the head.

With regard to the skeleton, it is composed of the vertebral column and consists of the hyoid bone and the laryngeal and tracheal cartilages.

Nerves of the Neck

The neck primarily consists of the cranial nerves. The marginal mandibular branch lowers down in the neck somewhat over the submandibular gland. The vagus nerve is known to move towards the carotid sheath. It is responsible for the carrying of the parasympathetic fibres of the thoracic cavity. Hypoglossal Nerve is used to supply the muscles of the tongue.

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