Anatomical Connection Found Between the Rectus Capitis Posterior Major and the Dura Mater
SOURCE: Spine (Phila Pa 1976). 2012 (Mar 15); 37 (6): 530
Scali F, Marsili ES, Pontell ME.
School of Medicine,
St. George’s University,
Grenada, West Indies
A new study, just published in Spine Journal, reports on an investigation of the muscles of the suboccipital triangle and their relationship to cervicogenic headaches.
During the anatomic study of thirteen cadaver specimens, it was discovered that eleven of the 13 specimens had a connection between the rectus capitis posterior major muscle (at C2) and the spinal dura mater. 
A previous report by Hack (Spine 1995)  discussed a connection found between the rectus capitis posterior minor and the dura mater and its relationship to cervicogenic headache.
What is most interesting in this new study is that manual traction of the rectus capitis posterior major resulted in gross movement of the dural sheath from the spinal root level at C2, all the way down to the T1 nerve root.
Hack previously suggested that:
“It has been speculated that the function of the muscle dural bridge may be to prevent folding of the dura mater during hyperextension of the neck. Also, clinical evidence suggests that the muscle dural bridge may play an important role the pathogenesis of the cervicogenic headaches
The authors of the current study concluded that “various clinical manifestations may be linked to this anatomical relationship.”
- Anatomical Connection Between the Rectus Capitis Posterior Major and the Dura Mater
Spine (Phila Pa 1976). 2012 (Mar 15); 37 (6): 530
- Anatomic Relation Between the Rectus Capitis Posterior Minor Muscle and the Dura Mater
Spine 1995 (Dec); 20 (23): 2484-2486
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