Rectus capitis posterior major muscle

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Rectus capitis posterior major muscle
Rectus capitis posterior major muscle.PNG
Deep muscles of the back. (Rect. post. major visible at upper left.)
Latin Musculus rectus capitis posterior major
Spinous process of the axis (C2)
Inferior nuchal line of the occipital bone
Occipital Artery
Dorsal ramus of C1 (suboccipital nerve), sub-occipital nerve
Actions Ipsilateral rotation of head and extension
Gray's p.401
TA A04.2.02.004
FMA FMA:32525
Anatomical terms of muscle

The Rectus capitis posterior major (Rectus capitis posticus major) arises by a pointed tendon from the spinous process of the axis, and, becoming broader as it ascends, is inserted into the lateral part of the inferior nuchal line of the occipital bone and the surface of the bone immediately below the line.

In 2011, Scali et al., reported a soft tissue connection bridging from the rectus capitis posterior major to the cervical dura mater. Various clinical manifestations may be linked to this anatomical relationship.[1] It has also been postulated that this connection serves as a monitor of dural tension along with the rectus capitis posterior minor.

As the muscles of the two sides pass upward and lateralward, they leave between them a triangular space, in which the recti capitis posteriores minores are seen.

Its main actions are to extend and rotate the atlanto-occipital joint.

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Additional images[edit]


  1. ^ Frank Scali, Eric S. Marsili, Matt E. Pontell (2011). "Anatomical Connection Between the Rectus Capitis Posterior Major and the Dura Mater". Spine 36 (25): E1612–4. doi:10.1097/BRS.0b013e31821129df. PMID 21278628. 

This article incorporates text from a public domain edition of Gray's Anatomy.

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