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Platysma Muscle

Platysma Muscle

The platysma is one of the main muscles of the neck. Read on to know its actions, innervation and how it is related to a double chin...
Bodytomy Staff
If one were to study the anatomy of neck, you would realize that it is one such region in the body where there are many important structures, including blood vessels, nerves, and muscles. One such important muscle that is present in the region of the neck is the platysma. This is a superficial muscle which is present over the important sternocleidomastoid. It is in the form of a sheet and spreads over the upper parts of the deltoid and pectoralis major, overlapping them and then eventually covering most of the part of the neck. It is an important muscle for many reasons.

Actions

The platysma is one of the cutaneous muscles of the face which helps to bring about different kinds of facial expressions. When it acts, it produces a slight amount of wrinkling in the region of the skin over the neck, in an oblique manner. It's front region, which is connected to the jaw, helps to bring about its depression. It can also draw down the corners of the mouth, which helps to make the expression of a grimace. It also gets activated when a person blows from the mouth. So, how does it manage to bring about all these actions? It is because of the nerve that supplies it. This muscle innervation is via the cervical branch of the facial nerve. The cervical branch of the facial nerve is one of the five major branches of the nerve that exit from the stylomastoid foramen. This cervical branch also supplies the depressor anguli oris muscle. When a person shows symptoms of platysma muscle spasms, he will end up having involuntary contractions of this muscle, which may make the person involuntarily grimace, as is seen at times in Meige's syndrome.

Exercises

So, why has everyone suddenly taken such a keen interest in this muscle off late? The reason is simple. When we think of our neck and chin region, the first thing that comes to our mind is the dreaded thing that everyone is trying to fight off - double chin. Yes, the platysma muscle is closely linked to a double chin. In most cases, in young people it is taut and tight and so, the neck looks thin and taut. However, as a person ages, signs of aging like sagging skin set in. And one of the biggest woes attached to a double chin is the fact that even if there is overall weight loss, then too, it is very difficult to lose weight in the double chin region. The skin in this region tends to just hang loose and gives the appearance of a sagging neck. So, how to deal with this sagging neck skin? Well, there are a few neck exercises that may come in handy.

For starters, you can stand up straight and then, tilt the head to one side as much as you can without straining it too much. This way, you will be able to feel the platysma stretching. This is one of the ways to bring about this muscle's tightening. When you do this repeatedly, it will be a good workout of sorts and will help to strengthen this part. If this is done in conjunction with neck exercises for double chin, then you are sure to see results after a while.

You need to remember that merely working out this muscle will not suffice if you wish to get rid of your double chin. You will also need to go in for overall weight loss and a healthy lifestyle.