In today’s muscle of the day we have a really small muscle that sits in the base of the neck, but can cause a ton of dysfunction in the neck and a lot of pain.
That muscle is the Rectus Capitis Posterior Major.
It is one of the muscles in the group classically called the subboccipital muscles.
This muscle is usually an absolute mess in anyone who is experiencing neck pain and dysfunction in this structure can lead to the following problems:
Altered biomechanics in the neck.
This muscle is one of the main movers in what is called upper cervical flexion. This is essentially your skull sliding on the top two bones of the neck. This motion is critical for good neck movement and biomechanics.
This muscle develops a ton of dysfunction, especially adhesion from being in a state of constant contraction.
When we spend the majority of our lives looking down this muscle has to engage full time and gets beat up really quickly.
Think about how much of our day is spent sitting and looking down at our devices. You are probably reading this right now on some form of device.
Adhesion in this muscle can lead to pain, weakness and decreased flexibility.
When that happens you need to get movement from somewhere else in the neck and that comes from the muscles further down in the lower neck and upper trap.
Usually that area is the one hurting because it is getting overloaded from the upper muscles not moving correctly.
So if you are someone that is constantly rubbing on your traps or lower neck and it never seems to get better it might just be the rectus capitis causing the real problem.
Get to a biomechanics specialist that can get the root cause of the problem and get you functioning better.