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Posterior Ramus of Third Cervical Nerve
Nervous System

Posterior Ramus of Third Cervical Nerve

Ramus posterior nervi cervicalis tertii

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Quick Facts

Origin: Third cervical nerve.

Course: Runs backwards around the articular pillar of C3 vertebra.

Branches: Third occipital nerve and lateral branch.

Supply: Motor innervation to multifidus, semispinalis capitis, longissimus capitis and splenius capitis muscles. Sensory innervation to the scalp below the superior nuchal line.

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Origin

The posterior ramus of third cervical nerve is one of two branches of the third cervical nerve, the other being the anterior ramus.

Course

The posterior ramus of the third cervical nerve passes posteriorly to emerge between the lamina of the axis (C2 vertebra) and the obliquus capitis inferior muscle. It runs backwards and winds around the articular pillar of C3 vertebra.

Branches

The posterior ramus of the third cervical nerve divides into a large medial branch, called the third occipital nerve, and a smaller lateral branch.

Supplied Structures

The posterior ramus innervates the multifidus, semispinalis capitis, longissimus capitis, and splenius capitis muscles.

Some sensory afferent neurons, which provide innervation to the skin below the superior nuchal line, transmit general sensory information regarding pain, touch, pressure, vibration, etc. via the medial branch of dorsal ramus.

The third cervical nerve also serves as a conduit for the sensory neurons innervating the meninges.

Learn more about this topic from other Elsevier products

Cervical Nerves

ScienceDirect image

Burner or stinger syndrome is a syndrome resulting from injuries to either the upper cervical nerve roots or the upper trunk of BP.

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