- Identify the anatomy of the muscular system
- Describe the main functions of the muscular system
- Spell the medical terms of the muscular system and use correct abbreviations
- Explore common diseases, disorders, and procedures related to the muscular system
- Identify the medical specialties associated with the muscular system
Muscular System Word Parts
Click on prefixes, combining forms, and suffixes to reveal a list of word parts to memorize for the Muscular System.
Introduction to the Muscular System
When most people think of muscles, they think of the muscles that are visible just under the skin, particularly of the limbs. These are skeletal muscles, so-named because most of them move the skeleton. But there are two additional types of muscles: the smooth muscle and the cardiac muscle. The body has over 600 muscles which contribute significantly to the body’s weight.
Watch this video:
Media 14.1 Muscles, Part 2 – Organismal Level: Crash Course A&P #22 [Online video]. Copyright 2015 by CrashCourse.
Muscular System Medical Terms
Anatomy (Structures) of the Muscular System
Muscle is one of the four primary tissue types of the body, and it is made up of specialized cells called fibers. The body contains three types of muscle tissue: , , and (see Figure 14.1). All three muscle tissues have some properties in common; they all exhibit a quality called excitability as their plasma membranes can change their electrical states (from polarized to depolarized) and send an electrical wave called an action potential along the entire length of the membrane. Fascia is fibrous connective tissue that encloses muscles.
|flexion||Decreasing the angle between two bones; bending a limb.|
|extension||Increasing the angle between two bones; straightening out a limb.|
|abduction||Movement away from the midline of the body|
|adduction||Movement toward the midline of the body|
|rotation||Circular movement around an axis (central point). Internal rotation is toward the center of the body and external rotation is away from the center of the body.|
|dorsiflexion||Decreasing the angle of the ankle join so that the foot moves upward, toward the knee or ceiling. This is the opposite movement of stepping on the gas pedal when driving a car.|
|plantar flexion||Motion that moves the foot downward toward the ground as when pointing the toes or stepping on the gas pedal. Plant/o means sole of the foot.|
|supination||As applied to the hand and forearm, where the elbow is bent, the act of turning the palm up. As applied to the foot, it is outward roll of the foot/ankle during normal motion.|
|pronation||As applied to the hand and forearm, where the elbow is bent, the act of turning the palm down. As applied to the foot, it is inward roll of the foot/ankle during normal motion.|
Naming of Muscles
There are many for naming muscles. Some of these include:
- divisions – biceps, triceps, quadriceps
- size – maximus (largest), minimus (smallest)
- shape – deltoid (triangular), trapezious (trapezoid)
- action – flexor (to flex), adductor (towards midline of body)
Also known as striated muscles. Skeletal muscles are responsible for voluntary muscle movement.
Is the heart muscle also known as the myocardium. Its appearance is similar to skeletal muscle. It pumps blood and gives the heart beat.
Also known as visceral muscles. Smooth muscle is mainly associated with the walls of internal organs. Smooth muscles are responsible for involuntary muscle movement.
biological process that results in stable equilibrium
in opposition to each other