This ligament has a triangular sheet-like form, and it extends between the external occipital protuberance superiorly and the tip of the vertebral spinous process of C7 (vertebra prominens) inferiorly. The third margin is free. Therefore, it goes down the spinous processes of C1 to C7 vertebrae.
Inferiorly, it continues as the supraspinous ligament.
The nuchal ligament participates in supporting the head. It resists flexion, limits hyperflexion and promotes returning the head back to the anatomical position.