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Rectus capitis posterior minor

Other Terms: Lesser posterior rectus capitis, Musculus rectus capitis posterior minor, Muscle petit droit postérieur de la tête

Muscle parts

None

Latin name

Musculus rectus capitis posterior minor

Latin muscle parts

None

Group

Epaxial muscle – Suboccipital

Etymology

The English name for this muscle is the lesser 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 minor comes from the Greek meion meaning “lesser.” As is typical in anatomical terminology, this comparative reference clues you into the fact that this is a smaller version of a similar shaped larger muscle.

Origin

Tubercle on the posterior arch of the atlas

Insertion

Medial portion of the inferior nuchal line of the occipital bone

Action

Probably assists with extension 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 minor

French

Muscle petit droit postérieur de la tête

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