The muscular system is an organ system responsible for providing strength, keeping up the balance, maintaining posture, allowing movement, and producing heat. It includes all the muscle tissues, such as the skeletal muscle tissues, smooth muscle tissues, and cardiac muscle tissues. The skeletal muscles are muscles attached to the bones and are responsible for the voluntary movements of the body.
The muscles of the skeleton have muscle tissues that are associated with other various tissues, such as vascular tissues, connective tissues, and nerve tissues. The main difference between muscles of the muscular system is the anatomy of each muscle fiber. This variation may be in the size where some muscles are large such as muscles of the thigh while others are tiny such as those found in the middle ear “stapedius muscle”. Muscle fibers may also vary in shape so they may be broad or narrow, in the arrangement of fibers where some are parallel to the long axis of muscle or oblique.
The muscular system consists of the muscle fibers which are covered by a connective tissue sheath called the epimysium. Human muscles are separated into compartments consisting of bundles of muscle fibers. Each bundle is covered by another connective tissue called perimysium. The main function of connective tissue covering muscles is to support and protect the muscle to bear the contraction force. As well as providing a pathway to allow the passage of blood and nerves to each muscle.
The heart is one of the major muscles of the body, it consists of cardiac muscles only called the myocardium. Cardiac muscles are involuntary muscles, they have rhythmic contraction controlled by the sinoatrial node in the heart. Cardiac muscles consist of chains of myofibrils. As such, the cardiac muscles contract continuously. Cardiac cells are rectangular in shape and have only one central nucleus. They also contain lots of mitochondria to form ATP and myoglobin to produce and store oxygen to provide energy to muscles in order to resist fatigue. Each cardiac cell is covered by a barrier between the extracellular and intracellular content called the sarcolemma.
Smooth muscles represent parts of the body’s internal organs. It is mainly found in the gastrointestinal tract as well as blood vessels. Smooth muscle location varies, as they may be found in other sites such as renal, genital, and respiratory tract. Their function differs according to their location. For example, in the respiratory tract and the cardiovascular system, the function of the smooth muscle is to control the diameter of bronchioles in the respiratory tract and blood flow as well as pressure in the cardiovascular system.
Smooth muscles are non-striated involuntary muscles. These muscles maintain their tone for long periods of time. The main proteins responsible for their contraction are the thick, dark myosin filaments and thin, light actin filaments. Smooth muscles have a particular shape which is fusiform, as they have tapered ends. Being non-striated muscles, smooth muscles are more elastic than striated muscles. So, they can keep the contractile tone for a long time as keeping the tone of the urinary bladder.
Muscles play a role in nearly every system and function of the body. Different kinds of muscles help with:
- Breathing, speaking and swallowing.
- Digesting food and getting rid of waste.
- Moving, sitting still and standing up straight.
- Pumping blood through the heart and blood vessels.
- Pushing a baby through the birth canal as muscles in the uterus contract and relax.
- Seeing and hearing.
A wide range of disorders, diseases, drugs and injuries can cause problems with how the muscles work. They include:
- Cancer and other disease: Multiple types of cancer (such as sarcoma) and other diseases can lead to muscle problems. These include neuromuscular diseases such as amyotrophic lateral sclerosis (ALS), autoimmune disorders such as myasthenia gravis (MG), and many types of myopathies (muscle disease). A disease called polymyositis causes inflammation in the muscles, leading to muscle weakness.
- Cardiovascular disease: Several kinds of venous disease and cardiovascular disease, including coronary artery disease, can cause problems with the heart and blood vessels. A heart attack can result when muscles in the blood vessels weaken.
- Chronic pain disorders: Fibromyalgia and other disorders cause chronic pain in the muscles all over the body.
- Genetic disorders: Muscular dystrophy is an inherited disorder (passed down through families). There are more than 30 types of muscular dystrophy. The disorder causes permanent muscle weakness
- Infections: Bacterial and viral infections can damage muscle fibers. These infections include Lyme disease, malaria and Rocky Mountain spotted fever.
- Injuries: Many different injuries can cause muscles to tear or stretch too far (muscle strain). Back strains are a very common injury. Accidents, trauma and overuse injuries can cause muscle cramps or muscle spasms. In severe cases, these injuries can lead to paralysis.
- Medications: Certain drugs, such as chemotherapy medications, can cause muscle pain. Sore muscles can also result from medications that treat high blood pressure. Some people develop muscle weakness after having a severe allergic reaction to a medication or a toxic substance.
Detoxing The Muscular System
The muscles in the human body are in a constant state of contraction and relation throughout the day. Detoxing the muscles will help remove the strain and toxins stored in the muscles.
- Massages can help remove the knots and strains that are stored in different parts of the body.
- Consumption of an adequate amount of water can loosen the muscles of the body.