Longus capitis

The longus capitis (also longus capitis muscle, latin: musculus longus capitis) is a prevertebral muscle of the neck. Situated anterior to the vertebral column it is involved in flexion and rotation of the head and cervical vertebrae.


The longus capitis originates with slender tendons from the anterior tubercles of the transverse processes of the 3rd to 6th cervical vertebrae (C3 - C6).


The longus capitis inserts onto the inferior surface of basilar part of occipital bone.


By contracting bilaterally the longus capitis flexes the head, while by contracting unilaterally the activated muscle rotates and tilts the head to the ipsilateral side.


The longus capitis is innervated by branches from the anterior rami of the 1st to 3rd cervical spinal nerves (C1 - C3) from the cervical plexus.