The digastric muscle as part of the head, especially the upper tongue muscles, is responsible for oral and temporomandibular joint mobility. He also influences swallowing, speaking, yawning and voice-shaping. If the digastric muscle is tense, mild to severe symptoms can spread throughout the body, which are not always directly associated with it. This can cause the sufferers massive health problems due to lack of diagnosis for a targeted treatment.

What is the musculus digastricus?

The musculoskeletal digastricus, to German bony muscle (skeletal muscle) and formerly also referred to as the biventer mandibulae muscle, is part of the head, especially the upper tongue muscles.

The muscle is involved in mouth opening (TMJ mobility to open and close), yawning and speech (vocal cord tension). If it comes to tension, it can lead to a serious head asymmetry, which can almost always extend with many physiological limitations on the entire body. The digastricus muscle therefore always has to be considered in a holistic focus through its aforementioned tasks. Also or especially when symptoms such as earache occur, without a morbid diagnosis regarding this organ by the ENT specialist, orthopedic surgeons etc. can be made.

Anatomy & Construction

The digastric muscle consists of two fleshy bellies, which are innervated by two cranial nerves. This innervation proceeds from the mandibular nerve in the anterior belly and from the digastric artery in the anterior belly.

The two bellies are connected by a tendon. The anterior abdominal (venter anterior) begins at the lower jaw inside. The posterior abdominal wall (venter posterior) begins at the temporal bone, specifically at the mastoid incisura (3). The muscle is arranged on both sides of the head (in pairs). Both muscle heads meet in the middle and form the common intermediate tendon, over which they are thus connected to each other as already mentioned. This intermediate tendon is attached to the hyoid bone with a connective tissue loop. It belongs to the suprahyal musculature (of cranial skeletal muscles that begin at the hyoid bone and thus are above the hyoid bone).

With this structure, the digastricus muscle is responsible not only for many central processes, but unfortunately also for many complaints that are not always assigned directly to him. In the next sections more.

Function & Tasks

One of the most important tasks of the musculus digastricus is its contribution to the swallowing process. He lifts the tongue bone or fixes it. In addition, this muscle is involved in the jaw opening. There are two distinctions to be made: the posterior venter is responsible for the elevation of the tongue. The anterior venter, on the other hand, is responsible for opening the jaw.

In addition, the digastric muscle is thus responsible for yawning, speaking and swallowing. He is thus considered an antagonist of the masticatory muscles.

Not only the floor of the mouth forms the suprahyoid muscles. It is the part responsible for chewing, swallowing and speaking. Together with the infrahyoid muscles, these are also responsible for the most correct positioning of the hyoid bone. In detail, the hyoid bone is lifted when swallowing the digastricus and stylohyoid. At the same time there is support at the mouth opening. When swallowing, the hyoid bone is moved forward by the geniohyoid. The opening but also the sideways movement of the lower jaw is supported.

Unlike the mylohyoid. It mainly causes the tension and elevation of the floor of the mouth. However, he can also support the jaw opening and the chewing movement. By assisting in chewing, the suprahyoid muscles are referred to as masticatory muscles.


Ear complaints, irritating cough and irritated throat as well as lump in the throat (globus feeling) but also dysphagia and voice disorders (dysphonia) may emanate from the hyoid muscles. Diagnosing this is only possible with an examination of the muscles and fascia. If this does not happen, the patient receives no physical findings.

The symptoms of coughing and irritating throat are then often dismissed as mental. In a sensorimotor body therapy according to Dr. med. Pohl, the fascia and the neck muscles are loosened. Most of the time the symptoms are resolved.

Dysphagia occurs because the process of swallowing is influenced by asymmetric digastric muscle guidance. The hyoid bone with the pharynx underneath is raised by the side of the muscle. Persistent dysphagia may be the result. The voice height and the voice strength (the so-called vocal cord tension) are determined by the musculature above the hyoid bone. If there are serious changes (worsening) without a cold there may be asymmetry of the head joint involving the digastric muscle.

The lump in the neck is often accompanied by dysphagia and respiratory disorders as well as nausea in the throat, vomiting and vomiting. Tension often leads to a lowered and thus increasingly tense head posture, with the chin facing closer to the neck. Accompanying this head posture always mentions a hindrance to breathing on the part of the affected person.

The depictions of the symptoms such as shortness of breath and anxiety in the throat underline these symptoms and make it clear how much everyday life can be affected.

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