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Head and Neck Anatomy: Part II – Musculature

Course Number: 597

Suprahyoid Muscles

The hyoid bone is unique in the human body in that it is not attached to any other bone. That makes it possible to move the entire bone in the anterior/posterior directions and the superior/inferior directions. As the hyoid acts as a base for the muscles that form most of the tongue the movements of that organ are dictated by the position of the hyoid bone. The bone’s location is primarily controlled by muscles. These muscles are divided into two major groups depending on whether they originate superior to the hyoid or inferior to it. The group that we will study first are the ones that originate superior to the hyoid. These four paired muscles are referred to as the suprahyoid muscles. These muscles in general elevate the hyoid but also have other actions depending on the muscle. Unfortunately, unlike the previous two groups of muscles, these muscles do not have single nerve that controls all of them.

Illustration showing the Suprahyoid muscles

Figure 24.