Rectus Capitis Lateralis

Joe Muscolino

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The rectus capitis lateralis of the prevertebral group of muscles is drawn in bilaterally. The rectus capitis anterior (also of the prevertebral group) has been ghosted in on the left side.

The Rectus Capitis Lateralis is a member of the Prevertebral Group, which is composed of the:

  • Longus colli
  • Longus capitis
  • Rectus capitis anterior
  • Rectus capitis lateralis



  • The rectus capitis lateralis attaches from the atlas (C1) to the occiput.
    • The inferior attachment is onto the transverse process of the atlas.



  • Laterally flexes the head at the atlanto-occipital joint.


NOTE: Both the rectus capitis lateralis and the rectus capitis anterior attach onto the transverse process of the atlas.