Muscle Spasms

  • Medical Author:
    Benjamin Wedro, MD, FACEP, FAAEM

    Dr. Ben Wedro practices emergency medicine at Gundersen Clinic, a regional trauma center in La Crosse, Wisconsin. His background includes undergraduate and medical studies at the University of Alberta, a Family Practice internship at Queen's University in Kingston, Ontario and residency training in Emergency Medicine at the University of Oklahoma Health Sciences Center.

  • Medical Editor: William C. Shiel Jr., MD, FACP, FACR
    William C. Shiel Jr., MD, FACP, FACR

    William C. Shiel Jr., MD, FACP, FACR

    Dr. Shiel received a Bachelor of Science degree with honors from the University of Notre Dame. There he was involved in research in radiation biology and received the Huisking Scholarship. After graduating from St. Louis University School of Medicine, he completed his Internal Medicine residency and Rheumatology fellowship at the University of California, Irvine. He is board-certified in Internal Medicine and Rheumatology.

What are the different types of muscle?

Muscles are complex structures that cause movement in the body. There are three types of muscle in the body:

  • Heart muscle pumps blood (cardiac muscle).
  • Skeletal muscle moves the external body parts, like the arms and legs, neck, back, trunk, and the face.
  • Smooth muscle moves portions of hollow structures inside the body. Examples include the muscles that line the esophagus, stomach, and intestines, muscles that line large arteries, and the muscles of the uterus.

What is skeletal muscle?

Skeletal muscles are anchored to bone, either directly or by a tendon. When the muscle contracts, the associated body part moves. This allows arms to lift, legs to run, and the face to smile. Most of these muscles are under willful or conscious control of the brain. This type of muscle is striated or striped with dark-colored muscle fibers containing large amounts of myoglobin, the protein that helps carry oxygen and light-colored fibers that have lesser amounts of the protein. The contraction of a skeletal muscle requires numerous steps within its fibers and cells. The nutrients required to produce energy, oxygen, electrolytes, and glucose are supplied by the bloodstream. Continue Reading

Reviewed on 4/21/2016
References
REFERENCE:

Bucholz, R.W., J.D. Heckman, and C.M. Court-Brown. Rockwood and Green's Fracture in Adults. 6th ed. Philadelphia: Lippincott, Williams & Wilkins, 2006.

Daroff, R.B., et al. Bradleys' Neurology in Clinical Practice, 6th edition. Philadelphia: Elsevier/Saunders, 2012.

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