Monday, 3 March 2014

The SubOccipital Muscles

The suboccipital muscles !
A group of muscles located on the back of the skull, attaching onto the first two vertebrae (the very top of your neck into up into your skull!)

There are 4 !  (On either side of the spine so - 8 in total! )
1. Rectus Capitis Posterior Major
2. Rectus Capitis Posterior Minor
3. Obliquus Capitis inferior
4. Obliquus Capitits superior

1, 2, and 4 extend your head (aka looking up)

1 and 4 help with lateral flexion (ear to shoulder on the same side muscle is located)

1 and 3 rotate your head to the same side the muscle is located (ipsi lateral rotation)

Unfortunately this group of muscles are full of tension on most people and can contribute to headaches. The tension is created any time we lean our heads forward - a habit that comes with lots computer time !
- first read THIS
- slowly bring your chin towards your chest (you should feel a nice pull on 
the back of your neck & head)
 -take a few deep breaths -relax your shoulders - let your head hang heavy..

- want to feel it more? (safely of course?) - clasp your hands together on the back of your head (see above photo) and begin by letting the simple weight of your hands & arms intensify this stretch (remember to take your time in case this is too much!)

-relax, breathe and hold for 15-30 seconds 
- you can use your hands to assist your head back into to upright (neutral) position.