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Levator scapulae

Other Terms: Levator scapulae muscle, Musculus levator scapulae, Muscle élévateur de la scapula

Muscle parts


Latin name

Musculus levator scapulae

Latin muscle parts



Pectoral girdle muscle or Cervical wall – lateral musculature – supracostal or outermost layer


In English, this muscle’s name means the muscle that lifts the scapula. The term levator comes from the Latin verb levare meaning “to lift.” Scapulae is the genitive reference to the scapula bone, which this muscle lifts upward.


Posterior tubercles of the transverse processes of cervical vertebrae 1 to 4.


Superior angle and the medial aspect of the superior margin of the scapula.


Elevation of the scapula Pulling from the upper cervical region in a line that parallels the medial aspect of the scapula the muscle functions effectively as an elevator of the scapula. It “shrugs” the shoulders. Downward rotation of the glenoid cavity of the scapula Working with the rhomboids and the pectoralis minor it weakly assists with downward rotation of the glenoid cavity. Additionally, when the scapula is fixed, the muscle laterally flexes the neck to that side. Working with the other scapular muscles, this muscle helps to stabilize the scapula and its associated glenoid cavity to improve the functional efficiency of the muscles working at the shoulder joint.

Nerve supply

Dorsal scapular nerve (C5) with direct branches from cervical ventral rami (C3 and C4)

Blood supply

Transverse cervical artery, ascending cervical artery, branches of the vertebral artery


Musculus levator scapulae


Muscle élévateur de la scapula


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