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Rectus capitis posterior major

Other Terms: Greater posterior rectus capitis, Musculus rectus capitis posterior major, Muscle grand droit postérieur de la tête

Muscle parts

None

Latin name

Musculus rectus capitis posterior major

Latin muscle parts

None

Group

Epaxial muscle – Suboccipital

Etymology

The English name for this muscle is the greater posterior straight muscle of the head. The word rectus is Latin for “straight.” The word capitis comes from the Latin caput meaning “head.” The Latin term posterior is derived from the Latin post meaning “afterwards.” The term major comes from the Latin maior meaning “greater.” As is typical in anatomical terminology, this comparative reference clues you into the fact that this is a larger version of a similar shaped smaller muscle.

Origin

Tip of the spinous process of the axis

Insertion

Lateral aspect of the inferior nuchal line of the occipital bone

Action

Probably assists with extension and rotation of the head, but is most likely a postural muscle that monitors the position of the head.

Nerve supply

Suboccipital nerve or dorsal ramus of cervical spinal nerve (C1)

Blood supply

The muscle receives its blood supply from the vertebral artery and the deep descending branch of the occipital artery.

Latin

Musculus rectus capitis posterior major

French

Muscle grand droit postérieur de la tête

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