Muscular system functions, organs and diseases

The muscular system is the largest system in the body. Muscles are located in practically every region of the human body.

The muscular system is made up of tissues that work with the skeletal system to control movement of the human body.

Muscular system functions

Muscles function is to produce force and cause motion. Muscles can cause either locomotion of the organism itself or movement of internal organs.

There are three distinct types of muscles: skeletal muscles, cardiac or heart muscles, and smooth muscles. Muscles provide strength, balance posture , movement and heat for the body to keep warm.

Cardiac and smooth muscle contraction occurs without conscious thought and is necessary for survival. Examples are the contraction of the heart and peristalsis which pushes food through the digestive system.

Skeletal muscle or “voluntary muscle” is anchored by tendons to bone and is used to effect skeletal movement such as locomotion and in maintaining posture. Though this postural control is generally maintained as a subconscious reflex, the muscles responsible react to conscious control like non-postural muscles. An average adult male is made up of 42% of skeletal muscle and an average adult female is made up of 36% (as a percentage of body mass).

The human body muscular system

Smooth muscle or “involuntary muscle” is found within the walls of organs and structures such as the esophagus, stomach, intestines, bronchi, uterus, urethra, bladder, blood vessels, and the arrector pili in the skin (in which it controls erection of body hair). Unlike skeletal muscle, smooth muscle is not under conscious control.

Cardiac muscle is also an “involuntary muscle” but is more akin in structure to skeletal muscle, and is found only in the heart.

There are approximately 639 skeletal muscles in the human body. There are three distinct types of muscles: cardiac or heart muscles, skeletal muscles, and smooth muscles.

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