Rectus Capitis Posterior Minor

Origin: The posterior tubercle of atlas’ posterior arch.

Insertion: The medial portion of the inferior nuchal line and the surface between it and the foramen magnum (broadening as it ascends upwards).

Located: To be found in the midline of the spine, superior to the spinous process of axis vertebra, just inferior to the external occipital protuberance, at the base of the skull.  In close approximation with the occiput.

Listing Involvement: Rectus capitis posterior minor corrects the superiority of the anterior atlas subluxation and is involved in correcting atlas laterality (on the side opposite of laterality).

Working Sensation: Upon palpation of the rectus capitis posterior minor "working" tension of the minor must first be distinguished from the sensation inherent to the normal muscle tone relative to the surrounding muscle tissues.  The tissue of the working rectus capitis posterior minor will not "give way" to finger pressure and indicates obvious contraction upon a light probing touch.

(Often confused with the larger bellies of rectus capitis posterior major which is located immediately lateral and inferior to the rectus capitis posterior minor.)

Non-Working Sensation: The sensation of the rectus capitis posterior minor can be deceptive to the novice.  Experience jumps to no conclusions in palpation.  The rectus capitis posterior minor may at first touch suggest a working tension but upon further comparison to the surrounding muscle tissues, found to be only the characteristic tone of the individual's muscle.