Suboccipital Triangle

Quick disclaimer, all drawings are done by me, while I try to remain as accurate as possible, I am only a student. There are natural human variations and differences between textbooks. That being said, I hope my illustrations can be of some help.

The Suboccipital Triangle is pretty much what it sounds like, a triangular region formed by muscles below the occipital bone.

Lots of long names here for such small muscles, but there is a method to the madness. The 2 Obliquus muscles attach at an angle (Oblique = slant). Superior and Inferior just tell you location, i.e. Obliquus Capitis Superior is above Obliquus Capitis Inferior. The 2 Rectus muscles attach straight up and down (Rectus = straight). The Rectus Capitis Posterior Minor can be broken down into: a straight small muscle located at the back of the skull. Rectus Capitis Posterior Major brakes down into: a straight larger muscle located at the back of the skull. Thank goodness for latin.

If you noticed on the chart, all of the muscles in the suboccipital triangle are innervated by the Suboccipital Nerve and are supplied by the Vertebral Artery.


Netter, F. H. (2019). Atlas of human anatomy (7th ed.). Philadelphia, PA: Elsevier.

Moore, K. L., Agur, A. M., & Dalley, A. F. (2015). Essential clinical anatomy(5th ed.). Philadelphia: Lippincott Williams & Wilkins.

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