The sternothyroid muscle is present in the front region of the neck. It is part of the infrahyoid muscle group and aids functions such as swallowing and speech.
Certain health conditions may affect the sternothyroid muscle, or the infrahyoid muscle group, and can result in speaking, chewing, and swallowing difficulties.
This article explores the anatomy and functions of the sternothyroid and conditions that may affect the muscle.
- omohyoid muscle
- sternohyoid muscle
- thyrohyoid muscle
The infrahyoid muscles are an anterior neck muscle group, which means they are present at the front of the neck. Some people may also refer to the infrahyoid muscle group as the
Connective tissue joins the sternothyroid and sternohyoid muscles. Doctors may refer to these two muscles as paired muscles. During some forms of surgery, a doctor may cut through this tissue. A surgeon will typically attempt to separate the left- and right-sided muscles but divide the connective tissue between them and spread them sideways.
The role of the sternothyroid muscle is to depress the
The sternothyroid muscle, along with the other muscles of the infrahyoid muscle group, also contributes to protecting other important structures in the neck,
- the esophagus
- blood vessels
- the thyroid gland
- the trachea
Conditions involving the sternothyroid muscle or the infrahyoid muscle group may affect various body functions, including speaking, chewing, and swallowing.
Dysphagia is the medical term to describe swallowing difficulties. A person who experiences dysphagia may have
Certain muscle conditions may result in the muscles of the neck region experiencing an imbalance in tension and causing issues with speech.
Muscle tension dysphonia is a condition that causes the sound of a person’s voice to change and become difficult to understand. This results from excessive tension in the extrinsic muscles, such as the infrahyoid muscle group.
This causes the larynx to have an
Masses in neck
Injury may occur to the ansa cervicalis following surgery or due to trauma to the head or neck region.
Some people may experience issues with their thyroid gland, including underactivity — hypothyroidism — or overactivity — hyperthyroidism. Muscle weakness can occur with both conditions, which may impact the sternothyroid. In some people, the thyroid gland may swell and enlarge. This is known as a goiter. Hypothyroidism and hyperthyroidism can both cause goiter.
Goiter may affect the sternothyroid muscle as well as the other muscles of the infrahyoid muscle group. It may also compress other structures, such as the esophagus. A person with a goiter may
- difficulty swallowing
- a hoarse voice
- a choking sensation
- shortness of breath
The sternothyroid is a muscle present at the front of the neck. It is one of the muscles that form the infrahyoid muscle group. The sternothyroid helps depress the hyoid bone and larynx, meaning it aids functions such as swallowing, speaking, and chewing. It also protects other important structures in the neck.
Certain conditions may affect the sternothyroid, which can result in difficulty with swallowing, speaking, and chewing.