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24. 9. 2012.

Muscles elevating the pectoral(shoulder) girdle

Levator scapulae

Levator scapulae

Levator scapulae is situated in the posterior part of the neck, its upper part under cover of sternomastoid and its lower part deep to trapezius. Its middle portion forms part of the floor of the posterior triangle. It lies superficial to the extensor muscles of the neck and attaches by tendinous slips to the transversae processes of the upper three or four cervical vertebrae(attaching to the posterior tubercles of the lower two) behind the attachment of scalenus medius. From here the fibres run downwards and laterally to attach to the medial margin of the scapula between the superior angle and base of the spine.

Nerve supply

Levator scapulae receives its nerve supply partly from the dorsal scapular nerve(C5) and directly from the ventral rami of C3 and 4.


Working with trapezius, levator scapulae can produce elevation and retraction of the pectoral girdle or resist its downward movement, as when carrying a load in the hand. Again when working with trapezius, contraction of both sides produces extension of the neck, while one side produces lateral flexion of the neck. Levator scapulae also helps to stabilize the scapula and is active in resisted medial rotation of the scapula.


Levator scapulae can be palpated when trapezius is not contracting(as for the rhomboids), with the subject upright and the hands in the small of the back. Levator scapulae can be felt anterior to trapezius in the posterolateral part of the neck when the hand is moved backwards with the elbow flexed.

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