Where are the Suboccipital Muscles?
The suboccipitals are a group for four small muscles that attach at the C1 or C2 vertebrae. The are located at the top of the neck.
These are four paired muscles
- Rectus capitis posterior major BLUE - located on the spinous process of the axis (C2) to the occipital bone.
- Rectus capitis posterior minor ORANGE - located on the center of the posterior arch of the atlas to the occipit.
- Obliquus capitis superior GREEN - located at the transverse process of the atlas to the occiput.
- Obliquus capitis inferior RED - located at the pine of the axis vertebra to the transverse process of the atlas.
Three of these muscles touch the base of the occiput which is the back of the skull.
The sub-occipital area consists of thick muscles that are susceptible to becoming tense and tight. This technique can be utilized to stretch and soften the sub-occipital muscles and to allow more space into the upper cervical (neck) and occipital (base of skull) area.
What is the function of the Suboccipital Muscles
The sub-occipital muscles are responsible for head movement; rocking, tilting and rotating to either side. These muscles also stabilize the head as it sits on C1, which sits on C2.