Skip to main content

Unfortunately we don't fully support your browser. If you have the option to, please upgrade to a newer version or use Mozilla Firefox, Microsoft Edge, Google Chrome, or Safari 14 or newer. If you are unable to, and need support, please send us your feedback.

Publish with us
Transverse Part of Trapezius Muscle
Muscular System

Transverse Part of Trapezius Muscle

Pars transversa musculi trapezii

Read more

Quick Facts

Origin: Spinous processes of C7-T4 vertebrae.

Insertion: Acromion of scapula, lateral end of spine of scapula.

Action: Retracts the pectoral (shoulder) girdle at acromioclavicular and sternoclavicular joints.

Innervation: Accessory nerve, anterior rami of third and fourth cervical nerves.

Arterial Supply: Transverse cervical artery.

Complete Anatomy
The world's most advanced 3D anatomy platform
Try it for Free


The transverse part of trapezius muscle originates from the:

- spinous processes of the seventh cervical and first to fourth thoracic vertebrae;

- adjacent supraspinous ligaments.


The fibers of the transverse part of trapezius muscle travel laterally along the upper back. They converge to a tendon, which inserts onto the:

- posterior half of acromion of the scapula;

- lateral half of spine of the scapula.

Key Features & Anatomical Relations

Overall, the trapezius muscle is an extrinsic muscle of the back and is found in the posterior cervical and upper back regions. It is a large, flat, triangular skeletal muscle that is composed of three parts:

- a descending part, which is the superior portion;

- a transverse part, which is the middle portion;

- an ascending part, which is the inferior portion.

The trapezius muscle is located:

- superficial to the semispinalis, spinotransversales, levator scapulae, rhomboid major, rhomboid minor, supraspinatus, and latissimus dorsi muscles;

- medial to the deltoid and infraspinatus muscles.

Actions & Testing

The transverse part of trapezius muscle retracts the pectoral (shoulder) girdle at the acromioclavicular and sternoclavicular joints.

Overall, the trapezius muscle can be tested by elevating the pectoral girdle (i.e., shrugging the shoulders) against resistance, during which the muscle can be seen and palpated (Moore, Dalley and Agur, 2009).


Moore, K. L., Dalley, A. F. and Agur, A. M. R. (2009) Clinically Oriented Anatomy. Lippincott Williams & Wilkins.

Learn more about this topic from other Elsevier products

Trapezius Muscle

ScienceDirect image

1 The trapezius muscle is a large, flat, somewhat triangular muscle in the upper back with a broad origin extending from the superior nuchal line of the skull along the ligamentum nuchae to the spinous processes of C7-T12.

Explore on ScienceDirectopens in new tab/window

Complete Anatomy

The world's most advanced 3D anatomy platform

Complete Anatomy