Muscular System : Parts, Types and Functions

Posted on Mar 1 2014 - 10:19pm by Pallavi Bandhakavi

Posted under Category : Health Fundas

What is the Muscular System?

The Human Muscular system is an organ system consisting of different types of muscles that help us in the movement of the body. The muscles may be voluntary or involuntary in function.

Check below the Muscular System Diagram:

English: A schematic showing some of the skele...

English: A schematic showing some of the skeletal muscles of a homo sapiens. The schematic was based on an image in the book “The human body” by Linda Gamlin (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

FAQ on muscular system

What are the different parts of the Muscular System?

The Muscular system consists of three types of muscles namely:

  1. Skeletal Muscles
  2. Smooth Muscles
  3. Cardiac Muscles

About 600 muscles of all sizes and shapes are attached to the framework of the skeletal system. These muscles contribute to the half of the total weight of an adult’s body.

The muscles help in holding the skeleton together and hold the signals that originate in the brain and assist other parts in their movement. The Muscular system in humans is controlled by the nervous system.

Muscles work together with bones to protect the body’s vital organs and support them in the movement throughout the skeletal system.

Following are the Functions of the Muscular System:

  • Muscular system helps in the movement of the body.
  • Muscular system maintains the balance of the human body.
  • Muscular system maintains the posture of the human body.
  • Muscular system helps in the circulation of blood throughout the body.
  • Muscular system provides heat to the body and keep it warm.
  • Muscular system provides strength to the human body.

How many types of Muscles are there in the Muscular System?

There are 3 distinct types of muscles in the muscular system:

  1. Skeletal muscle
  2. Smooth muscle
  3. Cardiac muscle

Skeletal muscles:

Skeletal muscles are also known as voluntary muscles as they are under our control and they move only when we want them to move. They are also known as striped and striated muscles as they have striations anatomically and can be seen under a microscope.

Skeletal Muscles are also known as Straighted muscles, and these are the muscle fibres that help in the movement of all the bones as the face and the eyes.

Through the central and peripheral nervous system, we have conscious control over these skeletal muscles. Straighted muscle fibres have patterns of dark and light bands, or fibrils in their cytoplasm.

Fibrous tissue that envelops and separates muscles is called fascia, which contains the muscle’s blood lymph and nerve supply.

Smooth muscles:

Smooth muscles are called as non-striated muscles as these muscles do not contain any striations when observed under a microscope. These are also known as involuntary muscles as these muscles are not under our control.

The brain does not control its actions voluntarily. Smooth muscles are also known as visceral muscles as these muscles fibres move internal organs such as the digestive tract, blood vessels, and secretory ducts leading from glands.

These smooth muscles are controlled by the autonomic nervous system. These muscles are known as smooth muscles because they have no dark and light fibrils in their cytoplasm.

Skeletal muscle fibres are arranged in bundles, while smooth muscle forms sheets of fibres as it wraps around tubes and vessels.

Smooth muscles are responsible for the movement of muscular actions of internal organs such as movement of food and wastes along the digestive tract. The other movement is the contraction or dilation of the pupil of the eyes and other countless involuntary movements of the sense and internal organs except the heart.

Cardiac muscles:

Cardiac muscles are also known as heart muscles. These muscles are specially confined to the region of the heart, so they are known as cardiac muscles.

Cardiac muscles are involved in the rhythmic beating and contractions of the heart, which are not under our consciousness, therefore cardiac muscles are also known as involuntary muscles.

Cardiac muscles are different from the skeletal muscles in having lateral connection between the muscle fibres. They are under the control of Autonomic Nervous System and are not under self control.

Cardiac muscles are straightened in appearance but like smooth muscle in its action. Its movement cannot be consciously controlled. The fibres of cardiac muscles are branching fibres and are found in heart.

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