Rectus Capitis Posterior Minor

Joe Muscolino

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

The Rectus Capitis Posterior Minor 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 minor attaches from the posterior tubercle of the atlas (C1) to the inferior nuchal line of the occiput.
  • The superior attachment is onto the medial 1/2 of the inferior nuchal line.



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


NOTE: A tight (overly facilitated) rectus capitis posterior minor contributes to the postural dysfunction pattern of forward head posture, which is part of the larger postural dysfunction pattern of upper crossed syndrome.