Occipitalis muscle

Last revised by Reabal Najjar on 29 Nov 2022

The occipitalis muscle is one of the paired skeletal muscles of the face. The occipitalis is connected to the frontalis muscle by the epicranial aponeurosis (also known as the galea aponeurotica) to form the occipitofrontalis muscle 1.

  • origin: superior nuchal line

  • insertion: epicranial aponeurosis

  • blood supply: branches of posterior auricular and occipital arteries

  • innervation: posterior auricular nerve of facial nerve (CN VII)

  • action: moves scalp posteriorly

The occipitalis muscle originates from the superior nuchal line of the occipital bone 2.

The occipitalis muscle inserts into the epicranial aponeurosis.

The occipitalis receives blood supply primarily from the branches of the posterior auricular and occipital arteries.

The occipitalis is innervated by the posterior auricular nerve, a branch of the facial nerve (CN VII).

Upon contraction, the occipitalis muscle moves the scalp posteriorly.

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