Rectus capitis posterior minor

Rectus capitis posterior minor muscles are found on the back of the head and neck, central to the spine. The rectus capitis posterior major adjoins the muscle, but the major muscle sits more to the side of the neck. The muscle begins at the first cervical vertebra. This vertebra cradles the base of the skull. The muscle connects the first vertebra with the occipital bone and spinal dura above the epidural space. It controls the extension of the head protecting the flow of spinal fluid. The vertebral and occipital artery provides blood flow to the muscle. Numerous studies found a link between muscle strength and cervicogenic headaches. Cervicogenic headache pain increases when the neck moves. Weakened muscles are believed to be a reason for the headache pain. Changing how you sit and strengthen neck muscles helps reduce this type of headache. Soft tissue massage and stress management also seem to help. Home exercises to strengthen the rectus capitis posterior minor and posture improvement keeps the headache from returning.
Written and medically reviewed by the Healthline Editorial Team
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In Depth: Rectus capitis posterior minor

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