Muscles of the Head and Neck – Chart

Muscles of the Head and Neck – Chart  for Massage Therapists

SternocleidomastoidManubrium of sternum,
medial 1/3 of clavicle
Mastoid processes 
of temporal bone
Unilaterally- Lateral flexion to same side and rotation to opposite side

Bilaterally- flexion of head and neck
Laying prone -Turn head to side and have client lift head toward ceiling; SCM’s will pop out
Platysma                             Fascia covering superior part of pectoralis major and deltoidEdge of mandible, 
skin of lower part 
of face               
Assists in depressing mandible and tightens the fascia of neck depresses lower lip. 
Scalenes-anterior , medius, posteriorAnterior- transverse processes C3-C6Middle- transverse processes of C2-C7


Posterior- Transverse processes of C5-C7

Anterior- first ribMiddle- first rib


Posterior- second rib

Bilaterally – elevate ribs during inhalation
Unilaterally- with rib fixed, laterally flexes the neck, rotates head and neck to opposite side


Anterior- flexes the neck

Brachial plexus and subclavian artery pass between the middle and anterior scalene.
Longissumus CapitisC3-C6 transverse processsesBase of occipital boneFlexion of head 
Splenius capitisSpinous processes of C7-T3Mastoid process of
temporal bone and 
superior nuchal 
line of occiput
Bilaterally- extends neck and headUnilaterally- rotates the head to the same sidePalpate between trapezius and SCM above levator scapula.Wrap around deeper neck muscles.
Splenius cervicisSpinous processes of T3-T6Transverse processes 
of C1-C4
Bilaterally-extends neck
Unilaterally- Rotates head to same side
SuprahyoidsStyloid process, underside of mandibleHyoid boneElevate hyoid and tongue, depress mandibleImportant in chewing, swallowing and speaking.
InfrahyoidsManubrium, superior border of scapulaHyoid bone,
thyroid cartilage
Depresses (pulls downward) hyoid bone and thyroid cartilage 
Sub occipital muscles    
OccipitofrontalisGalea aponeurotica (broad sheath of connective tissue that stretches across the cranium)
Skin over eyebrows


Superior nuchal line of occiput

Galea aponeurotica
Skin over eyebrows


Superior nuchal line of occiput

Raises eyebrows and wrinkles forehead
Anchors and retracts the galea posteriorly
Creates expression of “Surprise”
TemporalisLateral surface of the temporal bone (temporal fossa and temporal fascia)Mandible (coronoid 
process and ramus)
Elevates and retracts mandible; Clenches teethActive in TMJ problems, tooth grinding and headaches
MasseterZygomatic archRamus and angle
of mandible
Elevates mandible in chewing, Closes jaw and assists in protraction. Clenches teeth.Strongest muscle in proportion to its size.
BuccinatorMaxilla, mandibleLipsMaintains cheeks near teeth and food in position for chewing 
Pterygoids –lateralUpper head: from infratemporal surfce of greater wing of sphenoidLower head: from lateral surface of lateral ptergoid plateFront of neck 
of mandibular 
condyle and
capsule of
mandibular joint
Protrudes mandible, pulls articular disc forward, assists in rotary motion while chewing.Active in TMJ, tooth grinding and headaches
Pterygoids- medialMedial surface of lateral pterygoid plate and pyramidal process of palatine bone, small slip from tuberosity of maxillaLower and back
part of medial 
surface of ramus
and angle of mandible
Protracts and elevates lower jaw, assists in rotary motion while chewing.Active in TMJ, tooth grinding and headaches.
Orbicularis oculiMedial portions of orbitSkin of eyelidsCloses the eye 
Orbicularis orisMaxilla, mandible, lips, buccinatiorMucous membranes, 
muscles inserting 
into lips
Closes lips