Cervical plexus

The cervical plexus is a plexus of the anterior rami of the first four cervical spinal nerves which arise from C1 to C4 cervical segment in the neck. They are located laterally to the transverse processes between prevertebral muscles from the medial side and vertebral (m. scalenus, m. levator scapulae, m. splenius cervicis) from lateral side. There is anastomosis with accessory nerve, hypoglossal nerve and sympathetic trunk.

Cervical plexus
Dermatome distribution of the trigeminal nerve (Superficial cervical plexus visible in purple, at center bottom.)
Latinplexus cervicalis
Anatomical terms of neuroanatomy

It is located in the neck, deep to the sternocleidomastoid muscle. Nerves formed from the cervical plexus innervate the back of the head, as well as some neck muscles. The branches of the cervical plexus emerge from the posterior triangle at the nerve point, a point which lies midway on the posterior border of the sternocleidomastoid. Also from the posterior ramus of C2 greater occipital nerve arises


The cervical plexus has two types of branches: cutaneous and muscular.

Additionally there are two branches formed by the posterior roots of spinal nerves:

  • Preauricular nerve (from the posterior roots of C2–C3)[2][3]
  • Postauricular nerve (from the posterior roots of C3–C4)[3]


Additional images

See also

  • Cervical plexus block


  1. Clinically Oriented Anatomy by Moore and Dally's
  2. Robert Schwartzman (15 April 2008). Neurologic Examination. John Wiley & Sons. p. 58. ISBN 978-1-4051-7283-7.
  3. R.J. Schwartzman (31 July 2006). Differential Diagnosis in Neurology. IOS Press. pp. 326–. ISBN 978-1-60750-179-4.
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