Muscular System The ability to move is an essential activity of the human body, which is made possible by the unique

function of the contractility in muscles. Between 40%-45% of our body weight is composed of muscle mass. Muscles are highly specialized tissues that enable the body and it's parts to move. There are over 650 different muscles in the human body. Muscles are responsible for all of our body movement. They allow us to move from place to place as well as performing involuntary functions such as the heart beating and breathing. Muscles give our bodies form and shape and they are responsible for producing most of our body heat. All muscle cells shorten or contract by converting chemical energy obtained from food into mechanical energy that is translated into movement. TYPES OF MUSCLES skeletal- striated and voluntary smooth or visceral - non striated or involuntary cardiac- striated with intercalated disks They can also be described as striated, spindle shaped and nonstriated because of the way the cells may look under a microscope. Each fine thread is called a muscle fiber. SMOOTH OR VISCERAL MUSCLES Smooth muscles are unmarked by any distinctive striations. Unattached to bones, they act slowly, so not tire easily and can remain contracted for a long time. They are also called involuntary muscles because they are not under conscious control. Their actions are controlled by the autonomic nervous system. Smooth muscles are found in the walls of the internal organs including the stomach, intestines and blood vessels. They help to push food through the alimentary canal , contract uterus and constrict or dilate the blood vessels. CARDIAC MUSCLES Cardiac muscles are found only in the heart. Cardiac muscles are striated and branched and they are involuntary. They contract rapidly and are very strong. Cardiac muscles require a continuous supply of O2 to be functional. These muscles also have unique dark bands that are called intercalated disks. SKELETAL MUSCLES A skeletal muscle is composed primarily of striated muscle cells and connective tissue. Most skeletal muscles attach to 2 bones that have a movable joint between them. Muscles extend from one bone across a joint to another bone. One of the two bones is usually more stationary than the other. The muscle's attachment to this more stationary bone is called its origin. The muscle's attachment to the more movable bone is called the muscle's insertion. The rest of the muscle is called the body of the muscle.

In addition to calcium the shortening of a muscle cell requires energy. When the muscle relaxes the sarcomere can return to its resting length and the filaments return to their resting positions. FUNCTIONS OF A SKELETAL MUSCLE The 3 primary functions of the muscular system are: movement posture or muscle tone heat production . When a muscle shortens or contracts. Each muscle fiber is filled with two different kinds of very fine and threadlike structures called thick and thin myofilaments. the muscles on the back of it are stretched or extended elasticity: means the ability of a muscle to return to it's original length when relaxing. CHARACTERISTICS OF MUSCLES All muscles regardless of their type have 3 characteristics in common.The fleshy body parts are made of skeletal muscles. they are made up of connective tissue and are lined with synovial membranes which secrete the slippery lubricating fluid known as synovial fluid. When we bend our forearm. This is supplied by the breakdown of ATP molecules or the energy storage molecules of the cell. Thick myofilaments are formed from a protein called myosin and the thin myofilaments are formed mostly of a protein called actin. extensibility: which means the ability to be stretched. MICROSCOPIC CHARACTERISTICS OF MUSCLES Muscle tissues consist of specialized contractile cells or muscle fibers that are grouped together in a highly organized way. Small fluid filled sacs called bursae lie between some tendons and bones. Contraction of a muscle causes the two types of myofilaments to slide toward each other and shorten the sarcomere thus the muscle itself. The contraction of skeletal muscles which connect a pair of bones brings the attachment points together. contractility: this quality is possessed by no other body tissue. A sarcomere is the length of the myofibrils between the Z bands. Calcium is released into the cytoplasm when the muscle is stimulated to contract. The functional unit of the skeletal muscle is the sarcomere it is considered the contractile unit. irritability: means that a muscle will respond to a stimulus. it reduces the distance between the parts of it's contents or the space it surrounds. Calcium is a vitally needed mineral for our muscles to function. This causes the bones to move or they can reduce the area in the heart chambers upon contraction or cause the diameter of the vessels to decrease upon contraction. When looking under a microscope there are numerous arrangements of both thick and thin myofilaments which lie parallel to each other and overlap with a separating dark band called a Z band.

When muscles do their work to move body parts they also produce heat. So when the skeletal muscles contracts the bone to which it is attached will move.successive threshold of stimuli from the same intensity i. Types of contractions of the muscles twitch. Bones are connected by joints. the cell requires O2 and glucose. Within a short time after death. the ATP breaks down so there is no longer any ATP available to bridge the actin and the myosin. The other does so in the opposite direction is called the antagonist. Muscles are attached to the bones by nonelastic cords called tendons. which is supplied by our circulating blood. As a rule only the insertion bone moves. cartilage. Muscles must be attached to bones for leverage in order to have something to pull against... Dilator muscles assist with the decreasing or increasing of openings.A MUSCLE'S INSERTION BONE MOVES TOWARD ITS ORIGIN BONE.e. Between 98. Acetylchoine is the neurotransmitter that diffuses across the synaptic cleft to stimulate the muscle fiber. which makes up the myofilaments breaks down and the rigor mortis subsides or disappears.sustained contracture or lockjaw i. The origin bone stays put. Skeletal muscles are stimulated to contract by special nerve cells called motor neurons. tendons.8 is the normal temperature to maintain body heat. REMEMBER. This arrangement of muscles with opposite actions is known as an antagonist pair. An extensor muscle allows for straightening or extension and an example of this would be the triceps. One produces movement in a single direction called the prime mover. warm up of athletes Muscle Tone Muscle tone refers to the continued state of partial contraction present in the muscles. Muscles are attached at both ends to bones. The synergist muscle is the muscle that helps the prime mover. Muscles move bones by pulling on a single stimulus tetany. To produce ATP however.6-99. The rigor mortis can last for up to 2 days then the protein. ATP or adenosine triphosphate must be present for muscles to contract. The muscles of the body are arranged in pairs.For any of these muscles to produce movement in any part of the body it must be able to exert a force upon a movable object. the myofilaments are blocked in a contracted or rigid position. . When a muscle is stimulated ATP is released producing heat that our bodies need and the energy for the muscles to contract. Levator and depressor muscles raise and lower body parts. A flexor muscle such as the biceps allows for bending. Rigor Mortis literally means the stiffness of death. holding firm while the insertion bone moves toward it. from Clostridium tetani treppe. Therefore. skin and sometimes to each other. ligaments.e. Muscle tone maintains posture and makes sure that the body is ready for action.

An inguinal hernia is in the groin area. calcium and lactic acid associated with muscle cramping. Without O2 muscles start to contract anerobically. MUSCLE ATROPHY occurs to muscles. massage and electrical stimulation. ABDOMINAL HERNIA or a rupture may occur in a weak place in the muscular abdominal wall. FIBROMYOSITIS this is when there is an inflammation of the tendon as in a charley horse. Muscle strength can be increased by exercise. An example of this is a stroke or a CVA where the muscles are understimulated and gradually waste away.ISOTONIC CONTRACTION when the tension exceeds the weight load and the muscle shortens and produces movement or when the muscle produces movement between two body parts ISOMETRIC CONTRACTION when tension increases but does not exceed the weight load. ATP. MYALGIA is muscle pain and is characterized by many M-S disorders such as a strain or sprain. It is caused by bulging of the intestine through an opening in the abdominal cavity normally containing it. Muscle atrophy can be minimized by direct electrical stimulation. massage. MUSCULOSKELETAL DISORDERS Retraining of an injured or unused muscle is a type of rehabilitation or therapeutic science. Charley horse versus cramps is the difference between a larger degree of inflammation and the potential for some muscle fiber damage with a charley horse to the imbalance of oxygen and the intricate balance of glucose. After exercise. there is no shortening or movement or to say that there is an increased muscle tension without a production of movement. FLATFEET result from a weakening of the leg muscles that support the arch. you must stop to rest and take in the O2 to change the lactic acid back to glucose. Another example of this may be immobilization of a limb in a cast or abrace or from prolonged bed rest. . which are used infrequently. They shrink in size and they lose the muscle strength. and electrical stimulation. MUSCLE FATIGUE muscle fatigue happens when there is an increase in the lactic acid in the muscles (lactic acid is a waste product of cell metabolism) During vigorous activity the blood cannot transport enough O2 for glucose to be utilized.

contractility. muscles have to respond to a stimulus from the nervous system. puncture wound or burn. means that a muscle can be stretched or extended. It is characterized by continuous spasms of the voluntary muscles. show surprise. MUSCULAR DYSTROPHY is not any one single disorder but a group of genetic diseases that is characterized by atrophy of skeletal muscle tissues. It then progresses to a wider muscular involvement. Skeletal muscle has four primary characteristics that relate to it's functions: excitability. and exhibit other forms of facial expressions. which can enter the body through an open wound. It results from overworking and overexercising. The rigidity is the result of an unusual overuse of a muscle or when looking at a sustained muscle contraction or spasm there may be an underlying injury of muscle fiber disorder. It is caused by Clostridium tetani. MYASTHENIA GRAVIS is a progressive muscular weakness and paralysis especially in the face or throat. When a muscle responds to a stimulus. is the capacity to recoil or return to the original shape and length after contraction or extension. frown. it shortens to produce movement. visceral. pout. In order to function properly. we will be looking at skeletal muscle. The cause is unknown but is considered to be an immune disorder. elasticity. . STIFFNECK may be due to an inflammation of the trapezius muscle. There are three types of muscular tissue. The cause remains unknown. extensibility. the other muscle is relaxed and is stretched. is the ability to receive and respond to a stimulus. MD most often appears in childhood and the most common form of the disease is called Duchenne's MD where muscle atrophy is replaced by fat and fibrous tissue. and cardiac.MUSCLE HYPERTROPHY is a condition in which the muscle enlarges and grows stronger. which makes up about 40% of an individual's body weight. Skeletal muscles are under conscious control and when they contract they move the bones. skeletal. Skeletal muscles are often arranged in opposing pairs. TETANUS is an infectious disease that is usually fatal. Death is usually due to respiratory or cardiac muscle weakness. Skeletal muscles also allow us to smile. For our purposes. is the ability to shorten or contract. Some forms are fatal. When one muscle contracts. This increase in girth then changes the force of the muscle's contraction. This leads to an increase in the diameter or the size of the muscle as opposed to an increase in the number of the muscle cells.

When the muscle relaxes.000 or more sarcomeres that are strung together in long chains. Each organ or muscle consists of skeletal muscle tissue. The muscle's attachment to this more stationary bone is called its origin.muscle tendons are the major factor in stabilizing such joints as the knee and the shoulder. The microscopic structure of the sarcomere consists of many myofilaments. heat production. Each fine thread is called a muscle fiber. The rest of the muscle is called the body of the muscle. Dark bands called Z bands separate the repeating units of the sarcomeres from each other. . joint stability. Nearly all movement in the body is a result of muscle contraction. Most skeletal muscles attach to two bones that have a movable joint between them. nerve tissue. Muscle fibers are arranged in a highly organized way. skeletal muscle because it attaches to bone. Exceptions to this are the action of our cilia in the lungs.integrated action of muscles. Its attachment to a more movable bone is called its insertion. They are a dense fibrous connective tissue in the shape of heavy cords and they have great strength. the sarcomeres return to their resting length. STRUCTURE OF THE SKELETAL MUSCLE A whole skeletal muscle is considered an organ of the muscular system.such as sitting and standing is maintained as a result of muscle contraction. Tendons anchor firmly to bone. dark and light striations are seen. When seen under a microscope. The basic structural and functional unit of the skeletal muscle is called the sarcomere. Each muscle fiber has two kinds of very fine and threadlike structures called thick and thin myofilaments. and bones. Nearly 85% of the heat produced in the body is the result of muscle contraction. This type of muscle tissue has three names. The typical myofibril consists of 10. Contraction of a muscle causes the two types of myofilaments to slide toward each other shortening the sarcomere thus shortening the muscle. and the flagellum on sperm cells. The thick myofilaments are formed by the protein myosin. and blood or vascular tissue. The thin filaments are formed by the protein actin. maintain body temperature is an important by product of muscle metabolism. and voluntary muscle because its contractions can be controlled voluntary. They do not tear or pull away from the bone easily. Most muscles extend from one bone across a joint to another bone. and the filaments resume their resting positions. striated muscle because it has cross stripes or striations. posture.Muscle contraction fulfills four important functions in the body: movement. connective tissue.

All if this lays in waiting for the correct signal. the receptor sites on the actin thin filaments are covered and inactivated. when the tension is decreased and a relaxed state is achieved. What exactly is rigor mortis? Rigor mortis means the “stiffness of death”. all the sarcomeres shorten at the same time. Then there is a contraction phase where the tension of the muscle increases to a peak. then none of the sarcomeres contract. OK. At the same time. When the muscle fibers receive sufficient stimulus to contract...coming back to you now??) When an impulse travels from the nerve cell to the cell membrane of the muscle cell. The minimal stimulus to cause muscle fiber contraction is called a threshold. That is a chemical compound that stores chemical energy within the cell for use by body cells.. This is followed by a relaxation phase.. This is not as confusing as one would think. Just take it step by step and it begins to make sense. . then movement occurs. Within a short time of death. a lesser stimulus that is insufficient to cause contraction is called a subthreshold. Ah. muscle impulses stop and calcium is actively transported from the cytoplasm of the muscle cell back into the endoplasmic reticulum to be stored for the next round. the ATP in muscle breaks down so there is no ATP available to detach the cross bridges between the actin and the myosin. If the tension is great enough to overcome the weight load. there are multiple nuclei and numerous mitochondria (power plants of the cells.. This rapid influx of calcium ions into the cytoplasm of the muscle cell causes a change in the shape of the actin thin filaments and exposes the myosin thick binding sites.I know that you are dying to know this.. ATP you say. This action shortens the length of the sarcomere. The myofilaments remain locked in a contracted position and the body becomes rigid.. Day or so later. Because the muscle cell needs energy for contraction. the actin and myosin are reconfigured or redesigned into their noncontracting state and the muscle fiber relaxes Individual muscle fibers contract according to the all or none principle. calcium ions are released. They form a “cross bridge” so that the actin slides toward the center of the myosin. Without the calcium. I remember that.. Heads on the myosin thick filaments are also inactivated and are bound or attached to ATP or (adenosine triphosphate).. When there are no more nerve impulses. ATP is broken down to become ADP and the previous inactive myosin heads become energized and begin to interact with the actin thin filaments. the response to a single stimulus shows a lag phase when initially there is no response to the stimulus.. Therefore. Calcium also is stored in the channels of the muscle cell endoplasmic reticulum.SLIDING FILAMENT THEORY In a relaxed muscle fiber. muscle proteins begin to break down and the rigor mortis disappears. This is not the way a muscle in the body normally functions A muscle twitch. A muscle's response to a single threshold stimulus is called a twitch. A greater stimulus will not produce a greater contraction. it is all or none. If there is insufficient stimulus.

The term also refers to a disease commonly called “lockjaw”. or spasms. Treppe is a staircase effect and it is an increase in the force of muscle contraction in response to a successive threshold of stimuli of the same intensity. MOVEMENTS Muscles move bones by pulling on them. the insertion moves toward the origin. sustained contraction called tetany.If a second stronger stimulus is applied during the relaxation phase. The word tetanus is often confusing because it means different things to different people. If the muscle is stimulated at an increasingly faster rate the relaxation disappears and the contractions merge into a smooth. This produces a constant tension in the muscles and keeps them ready for activity. When the muscle contracts. which in turn causes uncontrollable muscle contractions. the second twitch is stronger than the first. In reference to muscle contraction. Muscle tone refers to the continued state of partial contraction that is present in muscles. that is caused by the bacterium Clostridium tetani. it produces a steady contraction of a muscle fiber without a relaxation phase. . The toxin causes the nerves to become highly excitable.

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