Ultrasonographic measurements of the omohyoid muscle during shoulder muscles contraction

Nadav Toledano, Gali Dar

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


BACKGROUND: The main function of the omohyoid muscle is to depress and withdraw the hyoid bone. This is an integral part of the swallowing process facilitating hyoid stabilization for tongue movement. Although the muscle is inferiorly attached to the scapula bone, its function during shoulder or scapula muscles contraction has yet not been studied.

AIM: To investigate whether changes occur in omohyoid muscle morphology during shoulder muscles contraction.

METHODS: The study included 40 healthy subjects (20 males and 20 females, Mean age: 25.68 (± 2.90) years) examined via diagnostic ultrasound. Omohyoid muscle morphology measurements (thickness and cross-sectional area) during different shoulder position (0°, 90° abduction and elevation) in rest and during isomteric contraction were evaluated.

RESULTS: The omohyoid muscle was activated when the shoulder was isometrically abducted at 90° abduction. Thickness and the cross-sectional area of the lower belly increased during contractions at 90° abduction compared with a resting position at 90° (p value < 0.01). No changes occurred at 0° isometric abduction. The CSA of the muscle was found to be significantly larger (p < 0.001) during contraction at 90° abduction compared with contraction at 0° abduction.

CONCLUSION: Omohyoid muscle was most contracted during abduction position with abduction shoulder muscles isometric contraction. Changes of the scapula position might influence omohyoid muscle function.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)711-716
Number of pages6
JournalJournal of Ultrasound
Issue number3
StatePublished - Sep 2023

Bibliographical note

Publisher Copyright:
© 2022, Società Italiana di Ultrasonologia in Medicina e Biologia (SIUMB).


  • Adult
  • Electromyography
  • Female
  • Humans
  • Male
  • Muscle Contraction/physiology
  • Neck Muscles/diagnostic imaging
  • Scapula/diagnostic imaging
  • Shoulder/physiology


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