Pharyngeal constrictor

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Any of the constrictor muscles lying in the posterior wall and sides of the pharynx whose function is to constrict the pharynx and aid in deglutition


The pharyngeal constrictor is comprised of three constrictor muscles that constrict the pharynx and aid in deglutition. The three constrictors are the superior pharyngeal constrictor, the middle pharyngeal constrictor, and the inferior pharyngeal constrictor. They lie in the posterior wall and sides of the pharynx so that when they contract the pharynx is constricted and the pharyngeal diameter is narrowed.1, 2 The successive contraction of these constrictor muscles (except for the cricopharyngeus of theinferior pharyngeal constrictor) downward would propel the bolus downward through the esophageal orifice.1 This would then lead to the relaxation of the cricopharyngeus to allow the passage of the bolus down to the esophagus.

See also:

1 Kulkarni, N. V. (2006). Clinical anatomy for students: problem solving approach. New Delhi: Jaypee Bros. Medical Publishers.
2 Seikel, J. A., King, D. W., & Drumright, D. G. (2010). Anatomy & physiology for speech, language, and hearing (4th ed.). Clifton Park, NY: Delmar Cengage Learning.