Sierra College Department of Biological Sciences

Discover the Biological Sciences

The introductory information for this site has been contributed as a joint assignment by students in Bio. Sci. 10.

Anatomy - Muscular System

By: Garrett Wolfe

1) Biological field or sub-topic chosen: Anatomy-Human Anatomy-Systems- Muscular

2) Define field or sub-topic:
Anatomy is study of the structure of the body (human or otherwise) and all of it parts and systems. It is not to be mistaken for physiology which is the function of the system or structure. However, these two fields seem to overlap and for good reason. The system I will be working on is the Muscular system, which will entail me to cover a little bit of both fields.

3) Describe in more detail the breath and depth of what could be studied or learned within this topic:
The human muscular system is broken down into two generalized areas, the axial muscles and the appendicular muscles. Axial muscles have connections (origins and insertions) on part of the axial skeleton (skull, vertebral column, and rib cage). Appendicular Muscles control the movements of the upper and lower limbs and also stabilize the pectoral and pelvic girdles. A muscle can be part of a muscle group or perform a specialized movement. For example, the “tricep muscle” is actually three different muscles grouped together with a similar function, in this case extending the arm. All muscles have functions, and by knowing where a muscle is located on the body (the reason for studying anatomy) we can predict what it does.

4) Focusing on one major concept, principle, or group of organisms (as appropriate within the topic), describe its importance, relationships, functional aspects, or otherwise explain it in more depth as seems important to you and (potentially) the others in class:
The study of anatomy and the muscular system is a cornerstone for the health field. Knowledge of both is essential to the practices of human health providers, veterinarians, physical therapists, athletic trainers, personal trainers, surgeons and so on. Many of us are taking this class to prepare ourselves for a future in one of these fields. The study of anatomy is of great importance to these fields because to know what a problem is one must first know where it is coming from, and to fix it, know how to get treatment there. In regards to the muscular system, if someone says their arm hurts, it’s a professional’s job to be able to locate where the pain is and what’s causing it. By knowing the muscles and their functions, the professional would be able to determine what movement causes the pain, thus matching that function to its respective muscle in that location. Would you trust a physician who didn’t even know where gluteus maximus, trapezoid, or pectorals were?

5) In studying and discovering more about this topic, what was the most interesting aspect, fact or some other piece of information that you have learned.
The most interesting thing that I learned about this field was how relevant it can be to just everyday life. Many of us go to the gym to work out, or simply do physical activity. There are so many muscles in your body, and knowing how to work out each individual muscle could pay huge dividends in relation to ones health or strength. I was particularly interested in the axial muscles because they get hardly any face time, so to speak, at the gym or in show.

6) References – provide references used and at least two Web sites with additional information on this topic (or sub-topic) for anyone that would like to learn more:
o McKinley, Micheal, and Valarie Dean O’Loughlin. Human Anatomy. New York: McGraw-Hill, 2006.

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