Ligamentum nuchae

Original Editor - Rachael Lowe

Top Contributors - Rachael Lowe, Kim Jackson, Mande Jooste and Lucinda hampton  


Nuchal ligament.png
Continuous with the Supraspinous ligament. It forms a two-layered fibroelastic septum that separates the dorsal muscles of the neck and spans from the spine of the C7 to the occiput. 


Extends from the external occipital protuberance on the skull and median nuchal line, to the spinous process of C7. The deep fibers of the ligament attach to the external occipital crest, the posterior tubercle of the atlas, and to the medial surface of the bifid processes of the other cervical vertebrae.  


Limits flexion[1].

Provides an attachment for Trapezius and Splenius capitis.


  1. Takeshita K, Peterson ET, Bylski-Austrow D, Crawford AH, Nakamura K. The nuchal ligament restrains cervical spine flexion. Spine (Phila Pa 1976). 2004 Sep 15;29(18):E388-93.