Anatomy and physiology

Posted: October 17th, 2013

Anatomy and physiology






Muscle names.

Muscle names are said to have been derived from greek or latin words. Interestingly the names given to various body muscles by anatomists deduce information about the muscle. The gathered or understood information from the name may be its location, action, shape, function among others. Some muscles’ names may refer to or give a certain clue to the location of a muscle by having a district name that suggests a feature or part of the body where the muscle may be located.

The action of the muscle can then be suggested by the name given by having a name that describes the reaction of the body once the particular muscle is put into motion or action. This can also help in determining the location. To show action words such as flexor and extensor may be used, In terms of shape, the name might suggest the physical dimension of the muscle or its length and structure hence use of words such as trapezius a triangle, a rhomboid, and a circle. On the other hand, the function of muscle may be portrayed by the name by giving it a name that suggests the work done by the particular muscle. The body has over seven hundred muscles, each having a unique name that distinguishes it from the rest. Several examples support this assimilation.

Skeletal muscles such as rectus abdominis indicate the location of the muscle. This can be evident from the name ‘abdominis’ which suggests the location of the muscle can be found in the abdomen. The trapezius, deltoid, rhomboideus, a muscles act as muscle names that clearly suggest that shape and size of a muscle. (Martini, F., & Ober, 2006) For instance, the trapeziud suggests trapezoid; deltoid suggests a triangle while a rhomboideus muscle suggests a rhomboid shape. longus and longissimus can be used to explain the length of a particular muscle

Facial muscles include the buccinators muscle. Its primary function is associated with eating hence found in the mouth. When chewing food it helps in the movement of food in the mouth across the teeth from space found inside the cheeks. It also provides suction for suckling when it comes to breast feeding. This acts as a good example for muscular names referring to action and function of a muscle

Appendicular muscle is an example of a cardiac muscle that acts as an involuntary muscle that contracts and relaxes continuously at a steady pace. The appendicular muscle allows the body to carry out diverse movement. Flexors can be said to be allow the raising of a thing and bending of elbow. Those that flatten a limb can be called extensors. The abductors, make movement from the midline of the body probable, while the adductors allow the movement toward the midline. Muscles act in opposing groups. In bending an elbow or flexing a muscle, for example, the biceps contracts and the triceps relax. (Andersson, G., & Lavender, 1997) The reverse occurs in straightening the elbow. This example perfectly demonstrates action and function use in the name.

The muscular sheet that forms the pelvic floor, are found in the pelvis. Between the ischial tuberosities, lies the perineum which appears to be divided into two triangles which include the urogenital triangle and anal triangle. The external muscles of the urogenital triangle are the muscles of the peripheral genitalia. They envelop muscles that strengthen the pelvic floor and surround the urethra. (Martini, 1998). They include the urogenital diaphragm, which extends between the pubic bones. This example helps in showing shape and location of a muscle

Tricept brachii muscle is an extensor muscle found in the elbow joints. It can  grip the elbow joint when the forearm and hand are used for  movements, The triceps muscle describes the shape of the muscle in its name as it suggest that its triceps. There are many other examples demonstrating features of this muscles. Other features that may be described by the names of various muscles include origin, fascicle organization, relative position, size and insertion



Andersson, G., & Lavender, S. A. (January 01, 1997). Evaluation of muscle function. Adult Spine, 1.

Martini, F. (1998). Fundamentals of anatomy and physiology. Upper Saddle River, N.J: Prentice Hall.

Martini, F., & Ober, W. C. (2006). Fundamentals of anatomy & physiology. San Francisco, CA: Pearson Benjamin Cummings.


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