Cervical plexus and cervical spinal nerves

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The ventral rami of the upper cervical nerves (C1-4) form the cervical plexus. Anatomy The plexus lies close to the upper four vertebrae. The dorsal rami of C1-4 innervate the paraspinal muscles and the skin at the back of neck.

Greater auricular Cutaneous nerves

Greater occipital

Lesser occipital


Transversus colli

Transverse cutaneous nerve of the neck

Intertransversarii cervicis (C2-C7) Muscle branches

Rectus capitis anterior (C1-3)

Rectus capitis lateralis (C1)

Rectus capitis longus (C1-3)

Major motor nerve: phrenic nerve

Fibers from C2-C4 also contribute to the innervation of the sternocleidomastoid and trapezius muscles

The ansa cervicalis connects with the hypoglossal nerve.

Other communicating branches exist with caudal cranial nerves and autonomic fibers, cervical vertebrae and joints, and nerve roots/spinal nerves (C1/C2 and C3-8).

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