Rectus Capitis Posterior Major

Joe Muscolino

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Posterior and right-lateral views of the the rectus capitis posterior major. The rectus capitis posterior minor has been ghosted into both views.

The Rectus Capitis Posterior Major is a member of the Suboccipital Group, which is composed of the:

  • Rectus capitis posterior major
  • Rectus capitis posterior minor
  • Obliquus capitis superior
  • Obliquus capitis inferior



  • The rectus capitis posterior major attaches from the spinous process of the axis (C2) to the inferior nuchal line of the occiput.
  • The superior attachment is onto the lateral 1/2 of the inferior nuchal line.



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


NOTE: The rectus capitis posterior major lies directly lateral to the rectus capitis posterior minor.