obliquus capitis superior muscle (anatomy)

FREE subscriptions for doctors and students... click here
You have 3 open access pages.


Obliquus capitis superior is one of the muscles of the suboccipital triangle. It arises from the lateral mass of the atlas bone (C1). It passes superiorly and posteriorly to insert into the lateral half of the inferior nuchal line.

It is innervated by the suboccipital nerve, the dorsal ramus of the first spinal nerve (C1).

Obliquus capitis superior acts at the atlanto-occipital joint to weakly:

  • extend the head
  • flex the head to the ipsilateral side