The stylohyoid muscle is a facial muscle located in the neck. It is thin and slender and is attached to the hyloid bone. The muscle lifts the hyloid bone during swallowing, which gives the characteristic in and out appearance of swallowing. In addition, it lifts the base of the tongue up when swallowing. It is essential to the process of eating. The stylohyoid muscle is given instructions by the facial nerve. The muscle starts at the styloid process, a pointed part of the skull's temporal bone that functions as an anchor point for a number of muscles. It is located just in front of the digastric muscle, which lifts the tongue back when swallowing. It is perforated by a facial tendon, the digastric tendon, before it slots into the hyloid bone. There are relatively few conditions that affect the stylohyoid muscle. One notable one is myofascial pain syndrome, which causes severe pain in these muscles. There is no known cure to this syndrome, although NSAIDs are prescribed to reduce pain and inflammation. In very severe cases, injections are used to numb the affected area.
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In Depth: Stylohyoid