Suboccipital Muscles


The suboccipital muscles are a group of four muscles located on each side of the back of the neck just below the base of the skull. The muscles connect the skull with the top two vertebrae of the neck. Located right underneath the occipital bone (the pronounced protrusion of the back of the head), there are four paired muscles as shown in the suboccipital musclespicture.

These muscles are designed to sit right on top of the cervical spine, however, most of us tend to lean forward habitually. Texting, using computers, or even when we eat, we place our ears way forward than our shoulders. As a result, these suboccipital muscles tend to get stretched too much on one wide, crunched up, and stiffened over time. Misalignment of the suboccipital muscles becomes a prime cause of head and neck tension and shoulder aches. Prolonged neck tension may permeate toward the frontal area, causing temple and frontal headaches, and may interfere with the blood flow to the eyes, resulting in painful & burning eye syndromes.



  1. What is the best way to relieve pain from this? I’ve been dealing with the “burning eye syndrome” for over a year as I had an accident which resulted in whiplash and trauma to my upper cervical vertebrae. Very tight suboccipyal muscles. Burning eyes since especially when using a computer, driving, etc. desperate for relief.

  2. Hi Lance,
    Sorry to hear about your issues. It sounds like nerve damage caused by the accident. Maybe, the whole suboccipital area is inflamed constantly. You may want to try liquid msm drops with vit c to insert into the eyes to lessen burning sensations, and chlorophyll complex ( by standard process) to reduce inflammation. You can also try acupuncture nearby. Hope this helped.

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