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Muscle System Disorders

Muscle System Disorders

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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 disorders of the muscular system by looking at:

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

1. Muscle Strains

A muscle strain is 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.

  • Causes: overuse or sports injuries.

Term to Know

    • Strain
    • Muscle fiber tears or stretches too far.

2. Spasms and Cramps

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

  • Causes: potassium deficiency; potassium is needed for nerve impulses to propagate properly. If somebody has a potassium deficiency in their diet, it can cause muscle spasms or cramps.

Example Have you've ever had something called a charley horse before? 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 when skeletal muscles break down and become weakened.

  • Causes: a genetic disorder.

Two types of muscular dystrophy are:

  • DMD-Duchenne's muscular dystrophy- sarcomeres don't properly contract, and most people who have this type will die in their early 20s; will probably be using a wheelchair. This is most common in children due to the low life expectancy.
  • Myotonic muscular dystrophy- type of muscular dystrophy is more common in adults. It's not deadly and usually will only affect the hands and feet. It still does have 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 is when muscles experience continual contractions, which can lead to death if the paralysis reaches the person's heart. This disorder is also known as to as lockjaw. A bacterial toxin inhibits your nervous system signals to the muscular system. The nervous system and your muscular system will not be properly communicating, which causes those continual contradictions and can lead to death; this can be vaccinated against

  • Causes: this type of disorder is transmitted is through microbes in soil containing cattle or horse manure entering a wound.

Term to Know

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

5. Atrophy

The wasting away of muscle tissue is called atrophy. Often time those who experience this disorder are people on bed rest due to an illness or injury. Muscles will start to waste away over time without use, but, if that person is off of bed rest or able to get up and start using their muscles again, they can actually reverse this disorder.

  • Causes: lack of use of muscles.

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, and can have a large range in the severity of a disorder like with a strain: a small tear is something that will heal, but a complete tear may permanently affect functionality. Some disorders are severe enough that they can cause death such as DMD or tetanus. On the other hand there are some disorders it is possible to make a complete recovery from like muscle atrophy or muscle spasms or cramps, which are related to a lack of potassium.

Keep up the learning and have a great day!

Source: Source: THIS WORK IS ADAPTED FROM SOPHIA AUTHOR AMANDA SODERLIND

TERMS TO KNOW
  • Strain

    Muscle fiber tears or stretches too far.

  • Muscle Spasm

    An involuntary muscle contraction often caused by potassium deficiencies.

  • Muscular Dystrophy

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

  • Tetanus

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

  • Atrophy

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