The levator scapulae muscle resides at that back and side of the neck. Levator means to lift in Latin, so as the name implies, its goal is to lift the scapula. It comes up by tendinous slips from the transverse processes of the atlas and axis and from the posterior tubercles of the transverse processes of the third and fourth cervical vertebrae. It is embedded into the vertebral border of the scapula, amid the medial angle and the triangle smooth surface at the root of the spine.
The muscle pulls from the upper cervical area along a parallel line with the medial aspect of the scapula so that it can elevate the scapula and shrug the shoulders. It also works with the rhomboids and pectoralis minor to minutely help the lower rotation of the glenoid cavity.
In addition, the levator scapulae muscle laterally flexes the neck to the side when the scapula is fixed. The other scapula muscles will work with the levator scapulae to secure the scapula and its corresponding glenoid cavity to strengthen how efficiently and effectively the muscles work in the shoulder joint.
The sternocleidomastoid covers the superior portion of the levator scapula and the trapezius covers the inferior part. The scalenus medius binds the levator scapulae in front and the splenius cervicis in back. In the middle of the levator scapulae, the spinal accessory nerve flows laterally and the dorsal scapular nerve may rest much lower to go through it. The levator scapulae are served by two or three branches of the fourth and fifth cervical nerves and often by a dorsal scapular branch.