What is the Muscular System?
The muscular system consists of over 600 muscles which enable us to breathe, eat, digest food, and maintain acts of daily living. Muscles are living, metabolically-active tissues, and without them, individuals would not be able to survive and thrive as human beings. Provided below is a detailed overview of muscles, what they are, what they do, and how they keep individuals “moving and grooving” each and every day.
Muscles provide the human body with the ability to move through voluntary and involuntary actions. Most of the body’s muscles are voluntary, which means that they move by commands sent from the brain via the nervous system. The rest of the body’s muscles are involuntary, which means that they move by unconscious control. Collectively, each of the body’s muscles comprises what is known as the Muscular System.
The Major Muscle Groups of the Muscular System
Each muscle in the human body belongs to one of three groups. These groups are:
- the cardiac muscles, the cardiac muscles only consist of heart muscles, they are involuntary, and they are responsible for the electrical conduction’s that keep the heart beating and pumping every day.
- the smooth muscles, the smooth muscles surround the body’s internal organs, they are involuntary, and they are responsible for functions such as food digestion.
- and the skeletal muscles, the skeletal muscles surround the body’s bones, are voluntary, and account for between 23% and 40% of an individual’s body weight.
How the Muscular System Works
Without muscles, it would be nearly impossible for an individual to do anything. Even thinking processes require some type of muscular interaction. Predominantly, it is through both contractions and brain impulses via the nervous system that muscles function. Overall, the main sources of fuel for proper muscle function are carbohydrates and proteins. It is through these nutrients that muscles are able to work, repair, and build optimally.
Common Muscle Disorders
Compartment Syndrome: Compartment syndrome occurs when excessive pressure builds within the muscles. The result is muscle pain from reduced blood flow to the area. This disorder is very common in athletic individuals.
Muscular Dystrophy: Muscular dystrophy is an inherited condition in which an individual’s muscle fibers become damaged and weakened over time. This disorder often causes an individual to lose his/her ability to walk.
Muscle Sprain: A muscle sprain occurs when an individual’s muscle becomes stretched or torn. This disorder is very common in active individuals and it is relatively easy to treat.
Myositis: Mysositis entails the inflammation of an individual’s voluntary muscles. This disorder often occurs as a result of injury, infection, or an autoimmune disease.
Muscular System Facts
- The smallest muscle in the body is the stapedius, which is located in the middle ear. This skeletal muscle is only 1.27 millimeters long and it assists in sound vibration conduction.
- The largest muscle in the human body is the gluteus maximus, which is also known as the buttocks muscle.
- The strongest muscle in the human body is the masseter, which controls jaw movement. It possesses the ability to create a force of up to 200 pounds or more on the molar teeth when an individual chews.
- The heart is the human body’s hardest-working muscle. It is a cardiac muscle that pumps a minimum of 2,500 gallons of blood throughout the body per day.
- The most active muscles in the human body are the eye muscles, which never stop moving. If an individual reads for an hour, his/her eye muscles will move at least 10,000 times during that period of time.
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From the powerful masseter to the tiny stapedius, each muscle plays a significant role in an individual’s day-to-day functioning. Ultimately, it is through the vast expanse of the muscular system that individuals are able to maintain active, healthy, and fullfilled lifestyles as “moving and grooving” human beings.