Have you ever tried making a scary face in the mirror? One that broadens your eyes and shows your teeth? While most of us can pull off a terrifying look, only a few can make a flip of the neck muscles that give off a fear-inducing vibe. That muscle is none other than the platysma muscle.
If you haven’t already heard of the platysma muscle, let me fill you in. It is a thin, broad sheet of muscle that covers the front of the neck and communicates with the muscles of the face, jaw, and mouth. Thanks to its intricate connection with the facial muscles, the platysma muscle has a substantial say in how your appearance appears to others. In fact, its function goes beyond the aesthetic appeal – it plays a crucial role in basic body functions.
The platysma muscle’s complex pathway allows it to take part in many important functions like opening the mouth, pulling down the corners of the mouth and lips, and lowering and frowning the eyebrows. It helps create facial expressions that aid in communication, allowing us to convey emotions and ideas to others non-verbally. Moreover, it assists in basic body functions. For instance, it pulls the skin of the neck upward and assists in breathing by allowing the mouth to open wider, ultimately giving your throat and lungs more room to breathe.
Anatomy of the Platysma Muscle
The platysma muscle is a thin, flat muscle that stretches from our chest to our chin. It is located in the anterior region of our neck, superficial to the deeper muscle layers. It covers most of the front and sides of our neck, with its fibers extending laterally into the muscle groups of the upper chest and shoulders.
It consists of two separate muscles, one on each side of our neck, and is innervated by the cervical branch of the facial nerve. The platysma muscle is comprised of a sheet-like muscle that is divided into two layers: superficial and deep. The superficial layer lies just below our skin, and the deeper layer lies beneath the superficial layer, over the collar bone (clavicle).
- The platysma muscle originates from the fascia covering the pectoralis major (our chest muscle) and deltoid (our shoulder muscle).
- The superior fibers of the platysma attach to the lower jawbone (mandible) and the corner of our mouth.
- The inferior fibers of the platysma insert into the fascia overlying our chest muscles (pectoralis major and deltoid).
The platysma muscle serves several important functions, including:
- Facial expression: It helps us make a wide range of facial expressions such as frowning, pouting, and grimacing. When we contract the muscle, it pulls the corners of our mouth downwards and tenses our neck muscles.
- Respiration: It also plays a minor role in breathing as the muscle is moderately active during deep inhalation and exhalation.
- Swallowing: It is involved in the actions of swallowing food and liquids as it helps lift the hyoid bone (our throat bone) upwards, which creates a passage for food or liquid to enter.
While the platysma muscle continues to work throughout our lives, its use and tone can be impacted by age, gravity, weight gain, and genetics. Some people may choose to undergo cosmetic surgery to reduce the appearance of sagging or wrinkled skin in the neck and chin area, which may involve working with the platysma muscle and its support structures.
Muscle Contractions and Movements
One of the essential functions of the platysma muscle is its ability to cause contractions and movements, which are necessary for various facial expressions, swallowing, and speech. There are two types of muscle contractions that the platysma muscle can perform.
- Isotonic Contractions: These contractions involve the muscle changing its length and moving the body part, resulting in visible movements. The platysma muscle uses isotonic contractions to perform actions such as opening and closing the mouth, moving the jaw, and neck flexion.
- Isometric Contractions: These contractions involve the muscle contracting and producing tension without movement. The platysma muscle uses isometric contractions to maintain posture, stabilize the neck, and keep the head straight.
The platysma muscle’s movements are crucial for certain functions in the body such as swallowing, breathing, and speech. The muscle is responsible for the contraction of pharyngeal constrictors, which aids in swallowing. Additionally, when the mouth opens, the platysma muscle contracts, pulling the corners of the mouth down, producing a grimace-like expression. When the mouth closes, the muscle relaxes, leading to a more neutral expression.
The platysma muscle’s role in speech is equally important because it helps to stabilize the larynx, the cartilage structure at the top of the trachea, and controls the pitch of the voice. The muscle’s contractions alter the larynx’s position and change the tension on the vocal cords, influencing the pitch of the sound waves produced during speech.
|Function||Direction of Contraction|
Overall, the platysma muscle is a complex muscle that performs various essential functions in the body. Its ability to produce contractions and movements is crucial for facial expressions, swallowing, and speech. Understanding the muscle’s role in these functions is essential for the proper diagnosis and treatment of any related health conditions.
Functions of the Platysma Muscle
The platysma muscle is a thin, flat muscle that covers the lower part of the face and neck. It has several functions that contribute to the overall appearance and function of the face.
The platysma muscle is responsible for the following:
- Lowering the jaw and lip – When the platysma muscle contracts, it pulls the corners of the mouth and the jaw down. This action can create a downward and sad appearance and is often seen in expressions of negativity or sadness.
- Tightening the neck – The platysma muscle is responsible for the bands or cords that are often seen in the neck of older individuals. These cords are created when the muscle tightens and pulls the skin inward.
- Assisting in facial expressions – The platysma muscle is involved in several facial expressions, including expressions of fear, tension, and concentration. When the muscle contracts, it can enhance these expressions and contribute to nonverbal communication.
The platysma muscle works in conjunction with other muscles in the face and neck, such as the masseter, sternocleidomastoid, and orbicularis oris muscles. Together, these muscles contribute to the overall appearance and function of the face and neck.
However, as individuals age, the platysma muscle can become weaker, leading to sagging and drooping skin in the neck area. This can result in the formation of jowls and the appearance of a double chin.
|Lowering the jaw and lip||Pulls the corners of the mouth and jaw down|
|Tightening the neck||Creates bands or cords in the neck|
|Assisting in facial expressions||Contributes to nonverbal communication|
Overall, the platysma muscle is an essential muscle for the function and appearance of the face and neck. Understanding its role in facial expressions and neck appearance can help individuals maintain healthy and youthful-looking skin.
Platysma Muscle in Aging
The platysma muscle is a thin, sheet-like muscle that covers the neck and is an important factor in facial expressions, particularly in the lower face. As we age, the platysma muscle plays a significant role in the visible signs of aging.
- The platysma muscle may sag and cause jowls or a double chin.
- As the muscle slackens with age, it can create deep lines and folds in the neck area.
- Wrinkles and creases may also appear as the skin loses elasticity and collagen.
The platysma muscle is also responsible for pulling down the corners of the mouth, creating a sad or angry appearance when it is overactive or tense. With age, the platysma muscle can become more pronounced, leading to that downturned appearance.
To address these signs of aging in the neck and lower face, surgical and non-surgical options are available. Treatments such as injectables, Ultherapy, and facelift can help tighten and lift sagging skin, reduce wrinkles, and improve overall skin texture.
|Surgical Options||Non-Surgical Options|
|Facelift||Injectables (Botox, fillers)|
Your doctor can help determine the best treatment plan for your individual needs and help you achieve a more youthful, rejuvenated appearance.
Role in Facial Expressions
The platysma muscle is an essential part of our facial muscles that helps us create facial expressions. Without it, our facial expressions would be limited, and we would not be able to express ourselves fully. Below are some of the ways the platysma muscle contributes to facial expressions:
- Contributes to smiling: When we smile, our platysma muscle contracts, pulling the corners of our mouth up and outwards. This action creates the smile shape on our faces and is an essential element of the expression.
- Contributes to frowning: The platysma muscle also plays a vital role in frowning. When we frown, the muscle contracts, pulling the corners of our mouth down and creating the frown shape on our faces.
- Contributes to grimacing: Grimacing is another expression that the platysma muscle is responsible for. It contracts, pulling the corners of our mouth down and causing the jaw to tighten, creating the grimacing expression.
Moreover, the platysma muscle is critical in conveying our emotions. This muscle helps us express various emotions, such as joy, sadness, disgust, and anger, among others. It is part of a complex facial muscle system that allows us to convey a wide range of emotions and feelings.
Aside from contributing to facial expressions, the platysma muscle also plays a role in speech. It works in tandem with other facial muscles to help us form certain sounds and words.
|Facial Expression||Action of Platysma Muscle|
|Smiling||Contracts, pulling the corners of the mouth up and outwards|
|Frowning||Contracts, pulling the corners of the mouth down|
|Grimacing||Contracts, pulling the corners of the mouth down and causing the jaw to tighten|
In summary, the platysma muscle is essential in contributing to our facial expressions, conveying our emotions, and speech. It is part of a complex system that enables us to express ourselves fully and communicate our feelings and thoughts to others.
Injuries and Disorders of the Platysma Muscle
The platysma muscle is responsible for several important functions in the neck and face area. However, just like any other muscle in the body, it can be subject to several injuries and disorders that can cause pain, discomfort, and even affect the appearance of the neck and face. Here are some of the most common injuries and disorders of the platysma muscle:
- Platysmal banding: This disorder happens when there is a visible band in the neck area due to muscle weakness or aging. Platysmal banding is a common condition in older adults and can affect the appearance of the neck, making it look saggy or droopy.
- Platysmal palsy: Platysmal palsy occurs when there is nerve damage in the facial nerve that affects the platysma muscle. This condition can cause facial asymmetry and difficulty in controlling the mouth and lips.
- Platysmal hematoma: This injury happens when there is a collection of blood in the platysma muscle due to trauma or injury. Platysmal hematoma can cause significant pain and swelling in the neck area and requires immediate medical attention.
Other injuries and disorders that can affect the platysma muscle include platysmal myalgia, which is characterized by muscle pain and tenderness, and platysma contracture, which is the tightening of the platysma muscle due to scarring or surgery.
Treatment for injuries and disorders of the platysma muscle can vary depending on the severity of the condition. For mild cases, physical therapy and pain management may be enough to alleviate symptoms. In more severe cases, surgery may be necessary to correct the issue.
Surgical Treatments for Platysma Muscle Disorders
Surgical interventions for platysma muscle disorders include:
|Platysmaplasty||A surgical procedure that involves tightening the platysma muscle to improve the appearance of the neck and chin area.|
|Facelift||A cosmetic surgery that can address platysmal banding and sagging skin in the neck and face area.|
|Botox injections||A non-surgical treatment that can temporarily paralyze the platysma muscle to reduce the appearance of platysmal banding.|
Surgical interventions for platysma muscle disorders should only be performed by a licensed and experienced surgeon to ensure safety and optimal results.
Strengthening and Relaxation Techniques for the Platysma Muscle
The platysma muscle is a thin sheet-like muscle that is located on the neck. It is responsible for pulling the corners of the mouth downwards and the skin of the neck upwards. As we age, this muscle can become weaker, which can lead to sagging of the skin around the neck area. Fortunately, there are various strengthening and relaxation techniques that can help improve the appearance of the platysma muscle.
- 1. Chin Tucks – This exercise involves tucking your chin down towards your chest and holding it for a few seconds. You can do this while sitting or standing. Repeat this exercise for about 10 times a day.
- 2. Jaw Lifts – This exercise involves lifting your lower jaw towards the ceiling while keeping your lips closed. Hold the position for a few seconds and lower your jaw back down. Repeat this exercise for about 10 times a day.
- 3. Neck Extensions – This exercise involves extending your neck backwards as far as it can go, then bringing it slowly back to its original position. Repeat this exercise for about 10 times a day.
These exercises can help tone the platysma muscle and improve its strength and appearance.
Aside from strengthening exercises, it is also important to relax your platysma muscle to avoid tension and tightness. Here are some relaxation techniques you can try:
- 1. Deep Breathing – Take deep breaths, inhaling through your nose and exhaling through your mouth. This can help loosen tight muscles and promote relaxation.
- 2. Neck Stretches – Perform gentle neck stretches to relieve tension in your neck muscles. You can do this by slowly turning your head from side to side, or tilting your head towards your shoulder.
- 3. Massage – Massaging the neck and jaw area can help loosen tight muscles and promote relaxation. You can use your fingers to massage the platysma muscle or seek professional massage therapy.
The platysma muscle plays an important role in the appearance of the neck area. By incorporating strengthening and relaxation techniques into your daily routine, you can help improve the strength and appearance of the platysma muscle. Start incorporating these exercises today and see the difference it can make!
|Strengthening||Chin Tucks, Jaw Lifts, Neck Extensions|
|Relaxation||Deep Breathing, Neck Stretches, Massage|
Strengthening and relaxation techniques can help improve the appearance of the platysma muscle.
FAQs: What Does the Platysma Muscle Do?
1. What is the purpose of the platysma muscle?
The platysma muscle is responsible for drawing the corners of your mouth downwards and tightening your neck muscles.
2. Can the platysma muscle cause neck wrinkles?
Yes, the platysma muscle can contribute to the development of neck wrinkles or “turkey neck” as it becomes weaker over time.
3. Can the platysma muscle be toned or strengthened?
Yes, you can engage the platysma muscle through regular facial exercises, such as lifting your chin towards the sky and chewing gum to tone your jaw and neck muscles.
4. Is the platysma muscle involved in facial expressions?
Yes, the platysma muscle is involved in facial expressions, particularly expressing sadness or tension.
5. What happens if the platysma muscle is severed?
If the platysma muscle is severed, you may experience difficulty swallowing, breathing, and speaking. Surgical intervention may be needed to repair the muscle.
6. Does the platysma muscle weaken with age?
Yes, like many other muscles, the platysma muscle can weaken with age, contributing to the appearance of sagging skin and wrinkles on the neck.
Closing: Thanks for Reading!
We hope this article has shed light on what the platysma muscle does and how it affects our appearance and facial expressions. Remember, there are simple exercises you can do to strengthen this muscle and keep your neck looking toned. Thanks for reading and be sure to visit us again for more health and wellness tips!