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Glossary of Muscles that Move the Head

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sternocleidomastoid origin
sternum and clavicle
sternocleidomastoid insertion
mastoid process of temporal bone
sternocleidomastoid action
acting together (bilaterally), flex cervical portion of vertebral column, extend head, and elevate sternum during forced inhalation; acting singly, laterlly flex to the same side and rotate head to side opposite contracting muscle
semispinalis capitis origin
transverse processes of first 6 or 7 thoracic vertebrae and 7th cervical vertebra, and articular processes of 4th,5th,&6th cervical vertebrae
semispinalis capitis insertion
occipital bone between superior and inferior nuchal lines
semispinalis capitis action
acting together, extend head; acting singly, rotate head to side opposite contracting muscle
splenius capitis origin
ligamentum muchae and spinous processes of 7th cervical vertebra and first 3 or 4 thoracic vertebrae
splenius capitis insertion
occipital bone and mastoid process of temporal bone
splenius capitis action
acting together, extend head; acting singly, laterally flex and rotate head to same side as contracing muscle
longissimus capitis origin
transverse processes of upper 4 thoracis vertebrae and articular processes of last 4 cervical vertebrae
longissimus capitis insertion
mastoid process of temporal bone
longissimus capitis action
acting together, extend head; acting singly, laterally flex and rotate head to same side as contracting muscle

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