Longus colli has a postural function on cervical curvature

Surg Radiol Anat. 1994;16(4):367-71. doi: 10.1007/BF01627655.


To determine the postural role of longus colli (LC) and dorsal neck muscles, we have studied the relationship between their cross-sectional areas related to their force of contraction and the lordosis and the length of the cervical spine. This study was carried out in 36 healthy subjects. Muscle cross-sectional areas were measured by computerized tomography. The index of lordosis and the length of the cervical spine were measured on an X-ray profile. The cross-sectional area of LC was correlated to the lordosis index (R = -0.432, p < 0.02) whereas all the other parameters were not correlated. The authors conclude that LC counteracts the lordosis increment related to the weight of the head and to the contraction of the dorsal neck muscles. Postural functions of LC and postcervical muscles are complementary. They form a sleeve which encloses and stabilizes the cervical spine in all positions of the head.

MeSH terms

  • Adult
  • Cervical Vertebrae / anatomy & histology*
  • Cervical Vertebrae / diagnostic imaging
  • Cervical Vertebrae / physiology
  • Female
  • Humans
  • Linear Models
  • Neck Muscles / anatomy & histology*
  • Neck Muscles / diagnostic imaging
  • Neck Muscles / physiology
  • Posture* / physiology
  • Radiography
  • Spine / anatomy & histology
  • Spine / physiology