The musculus stylopharyngeus is a muscle located in the area of ​​the human throat. He is long and narrow. His job is to support the swallowing process.

What is the musculus stylopharyngeus?

The stylopharyngeal muscle is translated as a pharyngeal-pharyngeal muscle. This is due to its shape and position in the human organism. The musculus stylopharyngeus is a long and narrow muscle that belongs to the pharyngeal musculature of humans.

Muscles of the pharyngeal muscles belong to the skeletal muscles. They are between the oral cavity and the throat. The throat is called the pharynx. It is a 12-15 cm long path that extends from the base of the skull to the trachea. This is the respiratory and feeding path between the oral cavity and the larynx. The trachea has the shape of a tube. It connects the larynx, called the larynx, with the bronchi. The trachea belongs to the respiratory tract of humans.

The course of the musculus stylopharyngeus can be described as vertical or caudal. His job is to support the swallowing act. He also dilates the pharynx. The musculus stylopharyngeus is supplied by the IX. Cranial nerve. This is the glossopharyngeal nerve. His name translates as the tongue and throat nerve.

Anatomy & Construction

The musculus stylopharyngeus is a long, narrow and round muscle. Its course is nearly vertical in the throat. In a cross section, his orbit is very easy to see. Its beginning is on the temporal bone. This is called Os temporale.

At the temporal bone there is the styloid process. This is a bone process. Its shape is elongated and handle-shaped. On its medial side begins the musculus stylopharyngeus. Its path runs between the constrictor pharyngis superior muscle and the constrictor pharyngis medius muscle. Both are also muscles of the pharyngeal muscles. The musculus stylopharyngeus pulls vertically along the pharynx.

Most muscle fibers of the stylopharyngeal muscle transition into other muscles below the pharyngeal mucosa. These include, for example, the palatopharyngeus muscle. Some of the remaining fibers of the stylopharyngeal muscle terminate at the larynx. There are different cartilages in four layers. The thyroid cartilage, the cartilde thyroidea, forms the second level and the end of the musculus stylopharyngeus. The musculus stylopharyngeus is supplied by the IX. Cranial nerve, the Nervus glossopharngeus.

Function & Tasks

The musculus stylopharyngeus, in interaction with other muscles, is responsible for the function of the pharynx. During swallowing he works together with the salpingopharyngeus and palatopharyngeus muscles. They all raise their throats together. The salpingopharyngeal muscle is called the tube-pharyngeal muscle. He raises his throat and larynx. In addition, he has an important role in closing the trachea during swallowing.

He tenses the plica salpingopharyngea. This is a mucous membrane bulge on the pharyngeal wall. Through this process, the epiglottis closes the trachea and prevents liquids or food from entering the trachea. The palatopharyngeus muscle is called the palate-pharyngeal muscle. He causes the raising of the tongue base. In addition, he is responsible for Schluckaktes the closure of the mouth and the reduction of the palate. The mouth is called the isthmus faucium. All three muscles have different tasks while swallowing and still work together. This gives a little insight into the complexity of human swallowing.

This serves to transport food, fluids and the produced saliva from the oral cavity into the esophagus and from there to the stomach. It is important that none of the ingested substances gets into the respiratory tract during the entire process. The swallowing act is the preparation of a deliberately controlled process. This means that the stylopharyngeal muscle is subject to voluntary control. This applies as long as the swallowing reflex begins. This is done by irritating the tongue base. The swallowing reflex is involuntary, but it is brought about by deliberate preparation.


Diseases affecting the area of ​​the pharynx may affect the functional activity of the musculus stylopharyngeus. The diseases of the pharynx include pharyngitis, the formation of carcinomas in the mouth and throat, fever, a paralysis or spasm.

The formation of a spasm in the throat is called pharyngismus. Sick paralysis occurs as soon as the IX. Cranial nerve, the glossopharyngeal nerve has a paralysis. An inflammation of the throat can cause simple discomfort when swallowing. In severe cases, there is a purulent infection that severely affects the swallowing process.

The side effects of sleep apnea include the spontaneous relaxation of the entire muscular system of the pharynx. In sleep apnea it comes to disturbances of breathing during sleep. For some or several seconds, a respiratory arrest occurs in the patient. As soon as there is inflammation of the IX. Cranial nerve comes, follow problems in the supply of the musculus stylopharyngeus. Nerve inflammation can have various causes and is called neuralgia. If the muscle is not sufficiently innervated by the nerve, it loses its functionality partially or even completely.

A childhood disease is the notifiable diphtheria. This is an infectious and at the same time acute infectious disease. The infected areas include the upper respiratory tract. The disease has an influence on the swallowing act. In addition, the pathogen causes a toxin that can lead to life-threatening consequences.

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