The palatopharyngeus muscle belongs to the skeletal muscles of humans. He is in the throat. His job is to regulate the swallowing act.

What is the Palatopharyngeus muscle?

The pharyngeal musculature is formed by various skeletal muscles. These include the palatopharyngeus muscle. It is a long pharyngeal muscle and is considered the strongest pharynx in the human organism. His way goes to the throat behind the throat.

From there it runs sideways descending. All pharyngeal muscles are located between the oral cavity and the pharynx. The task of the palatopharyngeus muscle is to lift the base of the tongue during swallowing. The swallowing act is complex and occurs through voluntary as well as automatic processes. The initial process is deliberately prepared and regulated. If food gets further into the back of the throat, the willful control goes into the swallowing reflex. To do this, the tongue base rises. As a result, absorbed substances are pushed into the esophagus and transported downwards.

Anatomy & Construction

The course of the palatopharyngeus muscle begins on the soft palate. The local connective tissue layer is called aponeurosis and forms the beginning of the muscle.

The palatopharyngeus muscle is shared by two other muscles. These are the levator veli palatini and the uvulae. It consists after the division of two bundles, the so-called fascicles. The anterior bundle of fibers runs between the levator veli palatini and the tensor veli palatini muscle. The other part of the muscle forms the posterior bundle of fibers and pulls its path directly under the mucous membrane in the throat. Both fiber bundles meet behind the palatine tonsil on the musculus stylopharyngeus.

They then innervate the thyroid cartilage, a cartilaginous layer of the larynx. Some other muscle fibers continue on the sidewalls of the pharynx and end there. The palatopharyngeus muscle is innervated by the pharyngeal plexus. This is the nerve network of the pharynx. The plexus pharyngeus is primarily of nerve fibers of the IX. and X. supplied cranial nerve. These are the Nervus glossopharyngeus and the Nervus vagus.

Function & Tasks

The pharyngeal muscles include various muscles. During swallowing, three muscles work closely together. These are the musculus stylopharyngeus, the salpingopharyngeus muscle and the palatopharyngeus muscle. Together, they ensure that the throat can be raised. The stylet-pharyngeal muscle is due to its external shape of the musculus stylopharyngeus. He raises and dilates the pharynx.

The tube-pharyngeal muscle is called the salpingopharyngeus muscle. The contractions of his muscle fibers cause the throat and larynx to lift. In addition, he tenses the mucosal bulge of the pharyngeal wall. This is the plica salpingopharyngea. Through it, the epiglottis becomes a closure on the trachea. This allows the free path from the mouth to the stomach. The palate-pharyngeal muscle is the palatopharyngeus muscle. As soon as he gets dressed, the tongue base is raised. In addition, when swallowing, it ensures that the mouth closes and lowers the palate. The Mundenge is the Isthmus faucium. Each of the muscles supports the swallowing act. This is deliberately initiated and then goes into the swallowing reflex.

It is important that all muscles work together to ensure a smooth process. Even though they have different tasks, the interaction is essential to prevent ingested liquids, food or saliva from entering the trachea. Their task is to ensure that the path from the throat to the stomach is released during the very complex swallowing process. The highest priority in swallowing is always the closure to the trachea. If food gets into the trachea it causes shortness of breath, lack of air and the danger of suffocation.


The diseases of the throat include inflammatory diseases, convulsions or paralysis during swallowing. In all, the functional activity of the palatopharyngeus muscle is affected or leads to a total failure. In inflammation in the throat by, for example, a purulent inflammation such as angina, swallowing symptoms develop.

A pharyngeal spasm is called pharyngism. He is painful. During the act of swallowing, all muscles involved in the process block the throat. The paralysis occurs in case of damage of the glossopharyngeal nerve. If the IX. Cranial nerve fails due to paralysis, it can no longer innervate the muscles in the throat. The paralysis then continues into the throat. Impairment of the functional activity of the palatopharyngeus muscle occurs in the formation of a carcinoma. As soon as a malignant tumor develops in the area of ​​the pharynx or throat, the functional activity of the pharyngeal muscles is affected and limited.

The infectious diseases include a childhood disease, which has a strong influence on the pharyngeal muscles. Notifiable diphtheria is an acute illness that is also highly contagious. The symptoms of the disease include the upper respiratory tract infection. All nerves, muscles or skin regions are affected. The pathogens of the disease but a toxin that, in addition to the influence on the pharyngeal muscles, can lead to a life-threatening condition.

The musculature of the throat has an important importance in diseases such as sleep apnea. In this disease, it comes to a standstill of breathing for some time. This can be for a few seconds or more. The disturbance of breathing causes a relaxation of the muscles in the throat area. Because the patient is unconscious at these moments, sleep apnea can cause suffocation.

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