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accessory muscles

ac·ces·so·ry mus·cles

/akˈses(ə)rē ˈməsəls/

Noun

The muscles of the sternocleidomastoids and scalenes, which the body employs to increase tidal volume when the respiratory rate is not sufficient to correct hypoxemia. The intercostal muscles increase outward expansion of the chest and raise the height of the chest. Sternal notch retraction as well as intercostal retractions might be seen as these muscles work to assist in breathing.