splenius muscle of head

[ splēnē-əs ]


A muscle with origin from the nuchal ligament of the last four cervical vertebrae and from the supraspinous ligament of the first and second thoracic vertebrae, with insertion into the mastoid process, with nerve supply from the dorsal branches of the second to the sixth cervical nerves, and whose action rotates the head and extends the neck.
The American Heritage® Stedman's Medical Dictionary Copyright © 2002, 2001, 1995 by Houghton Mifflin Company. Published by Houghton Mifflin Company.