Functions of the Muscles

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Chapter: Anatomy and Physiology for Health Professionals: Support and Movement: Muscle Tissue

There are four primary functions of muscle tissue in the body. These include:

Functions of the Muscles

There are four primary functions of muscle tissue in the body. These include:

Production of movement: This is the function of the skeletal muscles, and allows us to walk, run, jump, reach, grasp, and perform many other actions. Internal movements are also produced by the cardiac and smooth muscles. Cardiac muscle contracts to pump blood throughout the body. Smooth muscle in the blood vessels helps regulate blood pressure. It also moves foods or fluids through the digestive, urinary, and reproductive tracts.

Maintenance of posture and body position : The skeletal muscles function in these ways continually without significant awareness by the individual­. Extremely small adjustments are continuously made to keep us standing, sitting, or performing any needed actions of position, posture, and balance.

Stabilization of joints: Skeletal muscles also stabilize and strengthen the joints while pulling on the bones to cause movement.

Generation of heat: Contraction of muscles generates heat, which helps to maintain normal temperature of the body.

Other muscle functions include the formation of valves by smooth muscle, which regulates movement of substances internally, controls the pupils of the eyes, and helps the hairs to stand erect due to temperature changes or excitement.

1. Why is skeletal muscle referred to as voluntary muscle?

2. Describe the three types of muscle tissue.

3. Identify the main functions of skeletal muscle.

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