The chondroglossus muscle is a special muscle. It is an essential element in the area of ​​the muscles of the tongue and performs a variety of important tasks. In principle, the chondroglossus muscle is a relatively short length muscle.

What is the chondroglossal muscle?

The chondroglossus muscle is also referred to by some of the physicians with the rather colloquial term cartilage-tongue-muscle.

It is a relatively small and short muscle. As a rule, the chondroglossus muscle in the majority of individuals only reaches a length of about two centimeters. The chondroglossus muscle is located in the area of ​​the head. More specifically, it is a muscle that belongs to the tongue muscles. In addition, the chondroglossus muscle is one of the structurally striated muscles.

The anatomical origin of the chondroglossus muscle lies in the area of ​​the small horn, which is located on the leg of the tongue. Starting from this point, the chondroglossus muscle runs into the tongue. Gradually, the fibers of the chondroglossal muscle pass into and connect to the muscles of the tongue.

In some medical trusses, the authors argue that the chondroglossus muscle is not an independent muscle. Instead, the muscle is considered to be an element of the so-called hyoglossal muscle, from which it splits off.

Anatomy & Construction

The chondroglossus muscle is characterized by its typical structure and its characteristic position in the area of ​​the muscles of the tongue. In doing so he assumes various important functions related to the movements and tasks of the tongue. Basically, the chondroglossus muscle emerges from the small horn. The medical term for this area is Cornu minor. The small horn is part of the so-called hyoid bone.

The chondroglossus muscle and its muscle fibers are usually cranial. In its further course, the fibers of the chondroglossus muscle pass through two special muscles, namely the longitudinal inferior muscle and, subsequently, the genioglossus muscle. In the area of ​​the latter muscle, the chondroglossus muscle runs upwards. Subsequently, the chondroglossus muscle transfers into the muscles of the tongue in the form of a fan, in particular into the so-called submucosa.

Only through its innervation, the chondroglossus muscle is able to completely fulfill its tasks in the area of ​​the tongue muscles. The chondroglossus muscle is primarily innervated by the hypoglossal nerve. This nerve is sometimes referred to by the abbreviation Nervus XII. The hypoglossal nerve is not only responsible for the innervation of the hypoglossal nerve, but also generally innervates all the muscles around the tongue.

Function & Tasks

As an important muscle in the area of ​​the muscles of the tongue, the chondroglossus muscle is responsible for a number of significant tasks and functions. The small muscle essentially supports the mobility of the tongue, a versatile organ of great importance for food intake and human communication.

A particularly relevant task of the chondroglossus muscle is to move the tongue downwards in the posterior region. The chondroglossus muscle works closely with many other muscles of the tongue. In this way, the chondroglossus muscle contributes significantly to the smooth process of swallowing and chewing. In addition, the chondroglossus muscle plays an important role in speech.

The movement of the retraction of the tongue, for which the chondroglossus muscle is mainly responsible, is essential for many functions of the organ. In the process of swallowing, for example saliva, minced food or fluid, this movement of the tongue is of great importance. Because of this, the respective substance is transported backwards into the pharynx and from there further into the esophagus.

In addition, the chondroglossus muscle contributes significantly to the ability of speech. Because here too, the backward movement of the tongue is of great relevance. The retraction of the tongue is required, for example, in the formation of vowels. The rapid movement of the chondroglossus muscle is essential to ensure the normal language ability of humans. Even with numerous consonants, the chondroglossus muscle contributes to the necessary movements of the tongue.


In connection with the chondroglossus muscle, various impairments or disorders may occur. The affected patients are then affected in numerous habitual processes, which are related to the mobility of the tongue and thus the chondroglossus muscle.

In the case of injuries of the chondroglossal muscle, in some cases movement of the tongue backwards is no longer possible without considerable difficulty. In this way, various movements are made difficult, so it sometimes comes to various problems when swallowing or speaking. Also, the process of chewing is usually assisted by the chondroglossus muscle and is compromised in the event of muscle damage. If persons find corresponding symptoms of the muscles of the tongue, a doctor is to be informed about the symptoms in order to treat the injured chondroglossus if necessary.

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