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Occipitalis – Functional Anatomy

Overview

Occipitalis is part of a larger structure called the epicranius or occipitofrontalis muscle. The epicranius consists of the frontalis muscle and the occipitalis muscle, which are joined by a fascial structure called the galea aponeurotica.

Origin

  • superior nuchal line

Insertion

  • fibers of the epicranius (galea aponeurosis)

Function

  • retract the epicranius and with it scalp

Innervation

  • Facial Nerve

Functional Considerations

The occipitalis retracts the scalp, which pulls the hairline back and raises the eyebrows without wrinkling the forehead, It also stabilizes the epicranius so that the frontalis can raise the eyebrows.

Anomalies, Etc.

The Occipitalis is located on the posterolateral cranium. It has notable variations in area and thickness from person to person.

Click here for the Wikipedia entry for Occipitofrontalis.

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Tony Preston has a practice in Atlanta, Georgia, where he sees clients. He has written and taught about anatomy, trigger points, and cranial therapies since the mid-90s.

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