The superior pharyngeal constrictor muscle
is a quadrilateral muscle, thinner and paler than the inferior pharyngeal constrictor muscle
and middle pharyngeal constrictor muscle
Origin and insertion
The four parts of this muscle arise from:
- the lower third of the posterior margin of the medial pterygoid plate
and its hamulus
- from the pterygomandibular raphé
- from the alveolar process
of the mandible
above the posterior end of the mylohyoid line
- and by a few fibers from the side of the tongue
The fibers curve backward to be inserted into the median raphé, being also prolonged by means of an aponeurosis to the pharyngeal spine on the basilar part of the occipital bone.
The superior fibers arch beneath the levator veli palatini muscle and the Eustachian tube.
The interval between the upper border of the muscle and the base of the skull is closed by the pharyngeal aponeurosis, and is known as the sinus of Morgagni.
As soon as the bolus
of food is received in the pharynx, the elevator muscles relax, the pharynx descends, and the constrictores contract upon the bolus, and convey it downward into the esophagus.