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Nerve: Greater occipital nerve
Gray800.png
Posterior primary divisions of the upper three cervical nerves. (Great occipital nerve labeled at center top.)
Gray's subject #209 923
Innervates    semispinalis capitis, scalp
From C2

The greater occipital nerve is a spinal nerve, specifically the medial branch of the dorsal primary ramus of cervical spinal nerve 2. This nerve arises from between the first and second cervical vertebrae, along with the lesser occipital nerve. It ascends after emerging from the subocciptal triangle obliquely between the inferior oblique and semispinalis capitis muscle. It then passes through the trapezius muscle and ascends to innervate the skin along the posterior part of the scalp to the vertex. It innervates the scalp at the top of the head, over the ear and over the parotid glands.

Clinical relevance

Disorder of this nerve is one of the causes of cervicogenic headaches, referred to as occipital neuralgias.

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