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Muscle System Disorders

Muscle System Disorders

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Author: Sophia Tutorial
Description:

This lesson will introduce several disorders and diseases of the muscular system.

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Tutorial

What's Covered

This lesson will give an overview of muscular system disorders by looking at:

  1. Muscle Strains
  2. Spasms and Cramps
  3. Muscular Dystrophy
  4. Tetanus
  5. Atrophy

1. Muscle Strains

A muscle strain occurs when a muscle fiber tears or is stretched too far. If a tear is small, it can be very minor and will heal quickly on its own. If the tear is complete, the muscle might lose some of its functionality. 

This disorder is caused by overuse or sports injuries.

Term to Know

    • Strain
    • Muscle fiber tears or stretches too far.

2. Spasms and Cramps

A muscle spasm is an involuntary contraction of itself, and a cramp is a muscle spasm that does not immediately release.

This disorder is caused potassium deficiency. Potassium is needed for nerve impulses to propagate properly. If somebody has a potassium deficiency in his or her diet, it can cause muscle spasms or cramps.

Example Have you ever had something called a charley horse? If you have, then you have experienced a muscle cramp or a spasm that doesn't immediately release.

Terms to Know

    • Muscle Spasm
    • An involuntary muscle contraction often caused by potassium deficiencies.

3. Muscular Dystrophy

Muscular dystrophy is caused by a genetic disorder; skeletal muscles break down and become weakened.

There are two types of muscular dystrophy:

  • DMD-Duchenne's muscular dystrophy involves sarcomeres that don't properly contract. Most people who have this type will die in their early 20s, and will probably be using a wheelchair. This type is most common in children due to the low life expectancy.
  • Myotonic muscular dystrophy is more common in adults. It's not deadly and will usually only affect the hands and feet. However, it still causes some limiting effects on the person who has it.

Term to Know

    • Muscular Dystrophy
    • A genetic disorder that causes the gradual breakdown of muscle fibers.

4. Tetanus

Tetanus occurs when muscles experience continual contractions, which can lead to death if the paralysis reaches the person's heart. This disorder is also known as lockjaw. A bacterial toxin inhibits your nervous system's signals to the muscular system. The nervous system and your muscular system will not be properly communicating, which causes those continual contractions.

Tetanus is transmitted when microbes in soil containing cattle or horse manure enter a wound; however, it can be vaccinated against.

Term to Know

    • Tetanus
    • A disease caused by microbes that causes muscles to continually spasm.

5. Atrophy

Atrophy is the wasting away of muscle tissue, and is caused by lack of muscle use. Those who experience atrophy are often people on bedrest due to an illness or injury. Muscles will start to waste away over time without use; however, if that person is off of bed rest or able to get up and start using his or her muscles again, this can actually reverse the disorder.

Term to Know

    • Atrophy
    • The wasting away of muscle tissue leading to very weak muscles

Summary

There are many different disorders of the muscular system, with large ranges of severity. A strain can be a small tera that will heal, or it can be a complete tear that may permanently affect functionality. Some disorders are severe enough that they can cause death, such as DMD-Duchenne'smuscular dystrophy and tetanus. On the other hand, there are some disorders from which a complete recovery is possible, such as atrophy and muscle spasms or cramps.

Keep up the learning and have a great day!

Source: THIS WORK IS ADAPTED FROM SOPHIA AUTHOR AMANDA SODERLIND

Terms to Know
Atrophy

The wasting away of muscle tissue leading to very weak muscles.

Muscle Spasm

An involuntary muscle contraction often caused by potassium deficiencies.

Muscular Dystrophy

A genetic disorder that causes the gradual breakdown of muscle fibers.

Strain

Muscle fiber tears or stretches too far.

Tetanus

A disease caused by microbes that causes muscles to continually spasm.