If you’re prefer me, you’ll periodically toss her head from next to side as you sing loudly in your car (alone, with the home windows up, of course—I’m not cruel). This action, in which her neck move from a straight position to a lateral bend, is referred to as lateral flexion, and a team of muscles dubbed the scalenes (or scalenus muscles) help make that happen.

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Let’s take it a look in ~ them.

The scalenes space muscles of the neck, yet are likewise classified as being in the lateral vertebral region. They space responsible for motions of the vertebral column, as well as aiding in respiration.

Image native Muscle Premium.

The muscles in this team are:




Scalenus posterior

Posterior tubercles the the transverse processes of C05–C07

Outer surface ar of the 2nd rib; occasionally blended with scalenus medius

Elevates the first and 2nd ribs; bends the spinal column laterally

Scalenus medius

Posterior tubercles the the transverse procedures of C02–C07

Upper surface ar of the first rib

Elevates the very first and 2nd ribs; bends the spinal shaft laterally

Scalenus anterior

Anterior tubercles that the transverse processes of C03–C06

Scalene tubercle ~ above the inner border and also upper surface of the first rib

Elevates the very first and second ribs; bends the spinal column laterally

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Muscle plot of the Scalenes

Scalenes exhilaration in lateral neck flexion. Photo from Muscle Premium.

The scalenes are connected in a couple of actions including the neck, as well as the act of inhalation.

When you move your head from side to side (bending her neck to carry your ear down towards your shoulder) choose I do (singing in the car, remember?), this is lateral flexion of the neck. The various other muscles affiliated are the sternocleidomastoid, splenius capitis, splenius cervicis, longissimus capitis, longissimus cervicis, iliocostalis cervicis, intertransversarii anteriores cervicis, intertransversarii posteriors cervicis, and also intertransversarii mediales lumborum. Whew!

Scalenes acting in neck flexion. Picture from Muscle Premium.

If you look directly ahead, then turn your head come the side, this is contralateral head rotation. The muscles associated include the sternocleidomastoid, rotatores longi, semispinalis capitis, and also semispinalis cervicis.

Scalenes acting in contralateral head rotation. Image from Muscle Premium.

In the plot of inhalation (breathing in), the scalenes, together with many various other muscles (such together the intercostals), help elevate the ribs, while various other muscles, choose the diaphragm, help to increase the thoracic cavity.

Injury to the Scalenes

Since the scalenes are so connected in neck movement and rib elevation, they’re rather easy to injure or come to be irritated, as they’re working all the time.

Whiplash, one injury frequently sustained in automobile accidents, occurs as soon as your head moves ago and then snaps forward (like the crack of a whip), causing distortion the the neck muscles. The scalenes are frequently strained in cases of whiplash. Rest, ice cream packs, and limiting motion of the neck will assist them heal.

The anterior scalene is associated with scalene myofascial pain, which is chronic local pain that presents v hyperirritable spots called create points and a pattern specific to the muscle affiliated (in this case, the anterior scalene). Scalene myofascial pains is generally misdiagnosed as an additional neck pain–associated radiculopathy. Visiting a professional, such together a chiropractor, for treatment, as well as resting and icing the muscle, have the right to help.

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