Superior Pharyngeal Constrictor

Written by Max Bidewell

Last updated February 3, 2023 • 5 Revisions

The superior pharyngeal constrictor is a muscle of the pharynx. It is the uppermost of the pharyngeal constrictors and is located within the oropharynx.

  • Attachments: Originates from the pterygomandibular ligament, alveolar process of the mandible, medial pterygoid plate and pterygoid hamulus of the sphenoid bone. It inserts posteriorly onto the pharyngeal tubercle of the occipital bone and the pharyngeal raphe.
  • Action: Constricts the wall of the pharynx during swallowing to propel the food bolus downwards.
  • Innervation: Vagus nerve
  • Blood supply: Pharyngeal branch of ascending pharyngeal artery with contributions from the tonsillar branch of facial artery.

Fig 1
Lateral view of the deep structures of the pharynx. Visible are the circular muscles of the pharynx, and the stylopharyngeus.

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