What is Occipitalis?
The Occipitalis muscle is a thin, quadrilateral muscle that arises by the tendinous fibers from lateral two-thirds of occipital bone’s superior nuchal line as well as from the temporal bone’s mastoid section.
The muscle is positioned at the back of the head, above the base of the scalp.
The muscle originates at the superior nuchal line of the occipital bone as well as the mastoid section of the temporal bone.
The Occipitalis along with frontalis muscle is one of the two bellies or sections of the epicranius. The occipital belly lies close to occipital bone. The muscle originates at the mastoid part of temporal bone as well as the occipital bone’s superior nuchal line and ends at the galea aponeurotica. It exchanges information with frontalis through an intermediate tendon. The muscle forms the posterior section of the occipitofrontalis muscle.
The muscle helps move the scalp and wrinkle the forehead as well as raise the eyebrows. The occipital section or the belly of the epicranius muscle helps an individual to extend the scalp such that the eyebrows may come up. It also helps to wrinkle the forehead.
Tension or prolonged elevation of the eyebrows can cause pain to this muscle. The various health issues which may result from such pain include:
- Pain around the eyes or ocular strain
- Migraines headaches
- Cluster headaches
- Tension headaches
- Temporomandibular Joint Dysfunction
It is noteworthy that the flexibility of this muscle helps wiggle the ears in many people.
Here are some images that demonstrate the physical appearance of the muscle.
Picture 1 – Occipitalis
Picture 2 – Occipitalis Image