Prevertebral Group

Joe Muscolino

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Anterior view of the prevertebral group of neck/head muscles. The longus capitis is drawn in on the left side; the longus colli, rectus capitis anterior and rectus capitis lateralis are drawn in on the right side. Note that there is a frontal plane cut through the head.

The Prevertebral Group is composed of the:

  • Longus colli
  • Longus capitis
  • Rectus capitis anterior
  • Rectus capitis lateralis



  • The prevertebral musculature attaches from the cervical spine to the head.
  • The longus muscles attach from the cervical spine to the head.
  • The rectus capitis muscles attach from the atlas (C1) to the head.



  • Flexes the neck and head at the spinal joints.
  • Laterally flexes the neck and head at the spinal joints.



  1. The prevertebral group is composed of two longus muscles and two rectus capitis muscles.
  2. The prevertebral muscles are functionally important as stabilization muscles of the neck and head.
  3. The prevertebral muscles are often injured during whiplash accidents.