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How Do Muscles Work?

Health News You Can Use: Living Well

By: Dr. Robert Neposlan

We all have them, but most of the time, we pay no attention to them, unless of course we pull them in some way or exercise them too much. But muscles are essential for movement because:

• They convert energy into motion, just as a car engine makes your car run.
• Basically, you couldn’t do anything without muscles. For example, muscles in your larynx, mouth, and tongue help you to speak, skeletal muscles help you to walk, run, climb, exercise and dance – these are the muscles that control voluntary movements.
• Muscles also help control body movements that you generally never even think about – your breathing, heart beat, facial expressions, food digestion, eye movements, blinking, and other involuntary movements.

Without muscles, you wouldn’t be able to live very long, that’s for sure. Humans have more than 650 muscles, which make up more than 40% of your body weight!

How do muscles move? Well, muscles are made up of cells that contract and then relax. These cells use energy from the food you eat to do this, so without food, and the nutrients it provides, your muscles would be too weak to perform as they should.

Can you hurt your muscles? Sure you can, and you often hear people say they have “pulled” a muscle, meaning it has been stretched or torn, similar to breaking a bone. However, unlike most bones that have to be re-set, muscles are self-healing.Lifting Weights

Some fun facts about muscles:

• It really does take more muscles to frown (12) than smile (10)!
• Your eye muscles move more than 100,000 times each day!
• The smallest muscle is in your ear – it’s called the stapedius.

One way to improve the way that your muscles work is to exercise. Exercise makes your heart beat faster, sending more blood out to your muscles, giving them the vital oxygen and nutrients they need to work properly. And when you exercise, your digestive system slows down to conserve energy that your muscles need.

But don’t forget- muscles only move when commanded by your nervous system, which is the focus of your chiropractic care.  If you have chronically tight muscles, a “pulled muscle”, are an athlete, or are someone who just wants to be at their best, consider chiropractic care. As suggested, the nervous system is our specialty, and we get right to the cause.


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