Rectus Capitis Posterior Major

Written by Max Bidewell

Last updated January 30, 2023 • 4 Revisions

The rectus capitis posterior major is a suboccipital muscle of the neck. It is the largest of the rectus capitis muscles and is located laterally to the rectus capitis posterior minor.

  • Attachments: Originates from the spinous process of the C2 vertebrae (axis) and inserts into the lateral part of the inferior nuchal line of the occipital bone.
  • Actions: Extension and rotation of the head.
  • Innervation: Suboccipital nerve (posterior ramus of C1).
  • Blood Supply: Vertebral artery and deep descending branches of the occipital artery.

Fig 1
The left occipital muscles, which lie underneath the deep muscles of the back.

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