Function of SubOccipital Muscles
Rectus Capitis Posterior Major

  • Rotates/Tilts head to the same side - Bends head dorsally (B/L Contraction)

Rectus Capitis Posteror Minor

  • Rotates/Tilts head to the same side (slightly) - Extends head (B/L Contraction)

Obliquus Capitis Superior

  • Tilts Head to the same side - Extends head (B/L Contraction)

Obliquus Capitis Interior

  • Rotates Atlas (and with it, the head) to the same side 

Small Neck Muscles.  The clicking (crepitation) noises that are commonly heard with neck rotation are the result of these 4 small neck muscles becoming hypertonic (See Animation Below).

Small (Suboccipital) Neck Muscles

Ascending Postural Distortional Pattern that can lead to neck aches (often misdiagnosed as headaches).  

Tightness in the Oblique and Rectus Capiti muscles radiates to the occipital tubercles.  When chronic can lead to dull aching in the cranium.

  • Abnormal Pronation Pattern Left > Right - Hypertonicity of the Oblique and Rectus Capiti muscles on the left side of the neck.
  • Abnormal Pronation Pattern Right > Left - Hypertonicity of the Oblique and Rectus Capiti muscles on the right side of the neck.