Skeletal Muscle Functions

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“A muscle is a tissue composed of cells or fibres, the contraction of which produces movement in the body.” (Dictionary) There are three different types of muscle; voluntary skeletal muscle, involuntary smooth muscle and cardiac muscle. Muscles have many different functions within the body.
One function of muscle is movement. It is the only tissue in the body which is able to contract and therefore can move more than other body parts. Another function is the maintenance of posture. The muscles within the body contract to hold the body still or hold the body in a particular position. The muscles which are responsible for the body’s posture have the greatest endurance of all the muscles as they constantly hold the body up without being tired.
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Skeletal muscle covers the skeleton and is attached to the skeleton by strong tendons. This muscle gives the body shape, holds bones in place and prevents the joints from dislocating. These muscles move voluntary as we consciously control what they do. This works as the brain sends signals to the muscles to move e.g. the brain sends signals to the muscles in the hand to raise it and upon receiving the signals the arm raises. These muscles control muscles from running to writing. Skeletal muscle appears as striated, long, thin multinucleated fibres which give muscles their distinctive appearance. These muscles vary in size, from tiny strands e.g. ear muscles to large masses e.g. thigh muscles. Skeletal muscle contracts to facilitate movement of the skeleton. These contractions vary from powerful fast movements to small precise movements and they have the ability to contract and stretch and then return to their original shape. As well as this they contract as a reflex to certain stimuli e.g. moving an arm to avoid hot coffee. Skeletal muscle also works to protect the organs. The muscles in the abdomen and lower back protect the internal organs which are not protected by the ribs (Live …show more content…
According to Study.com, a cross-bridge refers to the attachment of myosin with actin within the muscle cell. All the muscle types I have previously described contract through cross-bridge cycling. Cross-bridge cycling occurs when myosin is filled with potential energy which then attaches to actin, the myosin then releases this energy and changes its head shape which pulls the thin filament towards the sacromere. This movement causes contraction within the muscles which causes movement (Study.com)
Muscles receive their energy from ATP. According to Boundless, long-term muscle use requires the delivery of oxygen and glucose to the muscle fibre to allow aerobic respiration to occur, producing the ATP required for muscle contraction.
Muscle fatigue occurs through the decline in muscle force. This decline takes place over long periods of activity or sometimes through pathological issues. There are a number of causes for this fatigue. For example, it may be caused by impaired blood flow, an ion imbalance within the muscle itself or the accumulation of lactic acid in the muscle

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