Did you know that the human body contains more than 600 individual muscles and that humans have 206 different bones? Did you know that babies are born with over 300 bones, more than an adult human? Interestingly, muscles make up almost 40% of a human’s body weight. Furthermore, the tongue is the strongest muscle in the human body. Did you know that the hands and feet contain over half of the human body’s bones? Also, bones are not the hardest substance in the human body, this award goes to tooth enamel. Surprisingly, it only takes 17 muscles to smile but 43 muscles to frown.
Our muscles act as a group to perform different body movements. Muscles can also contract which allows them to perform many different functions. As a medical assistant, learning how the muscles work, and how to prevent muscle issues is important to help patients stay healthy. As a medical assistant you will want to know what muscles do, how do muscles contract, how to prevent muscle strains and sprains, and what do to do if a patient sprains or strains a muscle.
What Do Human Muscles Do?
Muscles in the human body help it move, remain stable, control openings as well as passages and help warm the body. Skeletal muscles are attached to bones by tendons. Human muscles are attached to cross joints which allows the muscle to contract and allow us to walk and move. Facial muscles attached to the skin of the face allow us to make different expressions. Smooth muscles found in the body’s organs help move food through the body for energy production and waste management. Cardiac muscles help the heart to pump blood to the rest of the body. There are even small muscles that hold our bones in place and stabilize our spinal column. Also, muscles that contract in the body produce heat to help the human body maintain a normal temperature.
How do Human Muscles Contract?
To contract, human muscles need adenosine triphosphate (ATP). The muscles cells in our body create and store energy in the form of creatine phosphate to help muscles contract. When the muscle uses ATP during the contraction, a phosphate is lost, creating energy for the muscles to move. If fatigued, a muscle can lose the ability to contract due to an accumulation of lactic acid. Cramps can accompany muscle fatigue.
How to Prevent Muscle Strains and Sprains?
Strains of the muscle and tendons are caused by excessive stretching. Sprains consist of tears to the tendons, ligaments or cartilage of the joints. To prevent muscle strains and sprains, the individual will want to warm up their muscles before doing any intensive activity that may raise muscle temperature too quickly. Stretching improves muscle performance and should be done after muscles are properly warmed-up. By the same token, after exercise it is recommended to cool the muscles down before completely stopping exercise. This will help to avoid dizziness from not having enough blood in the brain. A cool down can also reduce the amount of lactic acid in the muscles.
What to do with a Sprain or Strain of a Muscle?
Remember the mnemonic “RICE” which stands for Rest, Ice, Compression and Elevation. Resting of the appendage minimizes bleeding and swelling. Ice minimizes swelling and pain. Compression by a bandage will keep the swelling down after ice. Elevation will assist the muscle by minimizing swelling and should be used as long as swelling is present.
The Human Skeleton
The body is made up of the skull, spinal column, rib cage, shoulder bones, arm bones, hand bones, hip bones, leg bones, feet bones, and the joints that connect all the bones together. As a medical assistant, learning about the skeletal system will help you educate patients to help reduce fractures and degenerative bone conditions.
What Makes up the Skeletal System?
The human skeleton is made up of the axial skeleton and the appendicular skeleton. The axial skeleton supports the head, neck and body while protecting the brain, spinal cord and the organs of the thorax. The appendicular skeleton includes the bones of the arms, legs, pectoral, girdle and pelvic girdle.
What Makes up our Bones?
Our bones contain tissues, blood vessels, and nerves. Some bones are spongy looking and contain red bone marrow. Other bones are compact and look solid, like granite. There are five different classes of bones based on their shape. They include long, short, flat, irregular and sesamoid bones. Bones give shape to body parts, support the internal organs and protect soft structures in the body. The red blood marrow in the bones produces new blood cells every 24 hours. Red blood cells need to be replaced by the body every 90 days. The bones also store calcium and every cell in the body needs calcium.
How Can I Build Better Bones?
Bone health is influenced by our diet, exercise and our overall lifestyle. A healthy diet to benefit bone health includes plenty of calcium and Vitamin D. Strengthening exercises are also good for healthy bones. The contraction of muscles pull on the bones, which stimulate bones to thicken and strengthen. A healthy lifestyle also promotes healthy bones. Smoking and alcohol consumption can lessen the amount of calcium in a body causing bones to become more brittle over time.
Ready to start a Medical Assistant Program? Mildred Elley offers a Medical Assistant Program that prepares students for entry-level positions in physician’s offices, clinics, hospitals and other medical facilities as a medical assistant. The Medical Assistant Program helps develop the skills necessary to excel in the healthcare industry.Contact us today to learn more about becoming a medical assistant.