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What Is the Omohyoid?

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  • Written By: Meshell Powell
  • Edited By: Jacob Harkins
  • Last Modified Date: 26 August 2014
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The omohyoid is a muscle located in the neck. This muscle is made up of two different bellies that are separated from each other by a type of tendon known as an intermediate tendon. This muscle is used primarily in the acts of chewing and swallowing.

The omohyoid muscle is part of the infrahyoid muscles group, which consists of four different pairs of muscles that are found in the front part of the neck. They are named infrahyoid due to the location in the neck. This muscle group is found below the bone in the neck known as the hyoid bone.

Just above the top border of the scapula is where the omohyoid muscle begins. The scapula is more commonly known as the shoulder blade. From the shoulder blade, the inferior belly of the omohyoid creates a narrow, flat bundle called the fascicle. The fascicle moves across the lower part of the neck and is connected to the clavicle, also known as the collar bone.

From the collar bone, the inferior belly of the omohyoid muscle moves behind the muscle known as the sternocleidomastoid. The muscle then develops qualities similar to that of a tendon while changing directions in such a way as to form an obtuse angle. From there, the inferior belly of the omohyoid leads to the superior belly.

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The superior belly of the omohyoid muscle travels in an upward direction and closely passes what is known as the sternohyoid. This is a muscle that attaches the sternum to the clavicle. It then inserts itself into the hyoid bone. The central tendon of the omohyoid muscle is held in place by cervical fascia and attaches it to the clavicle as well as the first rib.

Injuries involving the omohyoid muscle are particularly common in those who exercise a lot, particularly among bodybuilders. In some cases, resting the muscles for a prolonged period of time is sufficient, as the body is able to repair itself. In other cases, when the damage is more extensive, medical attention is required. Treatments will vary dependent upon the type of injury as well as the extent of the damage done to the muscle. The possibilities vary anywhere from prescribed exercises to surgery.

The omohyoid muscle can also feel sore when there are injuries in other areas as well. This is due to the activation of trigger points in the area. This is particularly common when there has been damage to the neck, shoulder or jaw muscles, particularly in a situation such as an automobile accident. Medical attention is necessary in order to locate the precise areas where damage has occurred.

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