Diseases of the muscular system

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1. Overview


Muscular system has three main functions: allows movement, generates heat and postural stability of the body. When the muscular system is affected, the effects can be devastating for the whole body, not only for the muscles.

Musculoskeletal diseases are often very painful and the main result is physical, such as inability to walk. Conditions that affect the muscular system include muscular dystrophy, myasthenia gravis, ALS and cerebral palsy.


Contents

1. Overview
2. Muscular system
3. Compartment syndrome
4. Atony versus atrophy
5. Myasthenia gravis
6. ALS
7. Cerebral palsy


2. Muscular system

In addition to muscle, muscular system consists of connective and nervous tissue. The most important role of the muscular system is to allow movement, action which is due to electrical impulses received by the brain.

These movements are varied, from walking the eyes blinking. Muscles represent up to 40% of total body weight, and because of their mass, they are the main source of generating body heat. Connections of the muscular system are so complex that a muscle could cause repercussions that affect the entire system.


3. Compartment syndrome

Orthopedic specialists consider that compartment syndrome occurs when pressure within the muscles increases excessively. There are two types of compartment syndrome: acute and chronic.

Acute compartment syndrome is an emergency that can lead to irreversible muscle damage, while chronic compartment syndrome is an emergency and occurs after the completion of exercise.

Manifestations of acute compartment syndrome include muscle tension, muscle aches, intense tingling and numbness or paralysis. Chronic compartment syndrome symptoms involve numbness and difficulty for the patents to move their legs and bulging muscles.

Scientists believe that the treatment of compartment syndrome include a procedure during which the surgeon makes an incision along the muscles to release their pressure. Other ways to manage compartment syndrome are physical therapy, anti-inflammatory drugs and low-impact exercises.


4. Atony versus atrophy

Atony and atrophy are two general types of conditions that can develop as a result of damage of the muscular system.

Atony refers to the fact that the muscles no longer maintain normal elasticity and becomes soft, while the atrophy involvies the state in which each muscle fiber size decreases. Atrophy occurs when muscles are not used or when nerve impulses become ineffective.


5. Myasthenia gravis

The name myasthenia gravis derived from Greek and Latin means muscle weakness. Manifestations include drooping of the eyelids, difficulty eating, blurred vision, muscle weakness and breathing problems.


6. ALS

ALS is a neurodegenerative disease that attacks motor neurons. Since motor neurons are ineffective, there will be an impairment of motor function control. Symptoms include weakness in the arms and legs, difficulty in swallowing, breathing and speaking. In later stages of this disease the limb atrophy occurs.


7. Cerebral palsy

Cerebral palsy is a disorder that affects a person’s motor function, posture and balance. A person who suffers from cerebral palsy has difficulty in performing physical tasks, but symptoms vary depending on each case.

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