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Longus Capitis Muscle
Muscular System

Longus Capitis Muscle

Musculus longus capitis

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Quick Facts

Origin: Anterior tubercles of transverse processes of C3-C6 vertebrae.

Insertion: Basilar part of occipital bone.

Action: Flexes head.

Innervation: Anterior rami of first to third cervical nerves (C1-C3).

Arterial Supply: Vertebral, ascending pharyngeal, and ascending cervical arteries.

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The fibers of longus capitis muscle originate as narrow bundles from the anterior tubercles of the transverse process of the third to sixth cervical vertebrae.


The fibers of longus capitis muscle converge as the muscle broadens as it approaches the occipital bone where it inserts into the basilar part of the bone.

Key Features & Anatomical Relations

The longus capitis muscle sits behind the pharyngobasilar fascia of the nasopharyngeal region.


The longus capitis muscle flexes the head at the atlantooccipital joints (Standring, 2016).


Standring, S. (2016) Gray's Anatomy: The Anatomical Basis of Clinical Practice. Gray's Anatomy Series 41st edn.: Elsevier Limited.

Learn more about this topic from other Elsevier products

Longus Capitis Muscle

ScienceDirect image

The rectus capitis anterior muscle is a small muscle located deep to the inserting fibers of the longus capitis muscle.

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