Levator Scapulae

Muscle Origin

C-1 through C-4 to vertebral border of scapula above the spine of the scapula.

The levator scapulae originates from the dorsal tubercles of the transverse processes of cervical vertebrae one to four. Wikianatomy-model-muscles-back-029-edited-2


Posterior tubercles of transverse processes of C1 – C4 vertebrae.

The muscle is inserted into medial border of the scapula extending from superior angle to junction of spine and medial border of scapula.


Elevates the scapula.

When the spine is fixed, levator scapulae elevates the scapula and rotates its inferior angle medially. It often works in combination with other muscles like the rhomboids and pectoralis minor to rotate down. Wikianatomy-model-023-edited 3

Innervation – Nerve control

Cervical nerve (C3, C4) and dorsal scapular nerve (C5).

The dorsal scapular nerve arises from the brachial plexus, usually from the plexus root (anterior/ventral ramus) of C5, and the C3 and C4 help control the diaphragm (the sheet of muscle that stretches to the bottom of the rib cage and plays an important role in breathing and respiration).


Dorsal scapular artery.

The dorsal scapular artery is a branch of the subclavian artery, and is also called “deep branch”.

Antagonist muscles

Extensor hallucis longus, Extensor digitorum longus, Tibialis anterior, Peroneus tertius. American Academy of Manual Medicine

Pictures of muscles


Trigger Point Referrals


Stretching description








Additional Resources
American Academy of Manual Medicine

Chandler Physical Therapy © 2014 Frontier Theme