Lecture #2: The Muscle System & Muscle Pathologies Flashcards Preview

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Flashcards in Lecture #2: The Muscle System & Muscle Pathologies Deck (11)
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What are skeletal muscles and what function do they perform?


Skeletal muscles are the muscles that are attatched to the bodies skeletal bones.
—> their function is to move limbs and other different body parts.
—> skeletal muscle fibres are subject to voluntary control.
—>the sole function of muscke tissue is to contract or shorten (i.e contracting these muscles causes movements, maintains posture, stabilizes joints, and generates heat).

** voluntary requires brain function and thought process ( we think about walking, put thought into dancing, grasping something with our hand etc). While involuntary happens naturally (i.e muscle movement of the heart, digestive system)


Describe the 3 superficial muscles that are attatched to the spine. (Pg # of diagram found in Bowden textbook are listed next to each answer for your reference)

  1. Trapezius (pg 165)- elevates the shoulders, located in the upper back.
  2. Latissimus Dorsi (pg 169)- depresses the shoulders. Located in the midback below shoulder blade (also attaches to thoracic spine and iliac crest of hip)
  3. Erector Spinae (pg 126-132)- uni-lateral (can work alone to flex) or bi-lateral (work together in extension). They run on either side of the vertebrae.

Describe the 3 “deep” muscles that attatch to the spine (page number of Bowden textbook listed next to each answer for your reference).

  1. Splenius Capitis (pg 124): uni-lateral (work alone in flexion) or bi-lateral (work together in extension) in reference to the head. These muscles are located in the cervical spine region attatched to the neck and torso.
  2. Splenius Cervicis (pg 125): uni-lateral (work alone to flex neck) or bi-lateral ( eork together to extend neck). Located from third through sixth thoracic vertebrae.
  3. Quadratus Lumborum (pg 138): uni-lateral (work alone to flex hip) raise one side of the hip, or bi-lateral (work together to extend hip) allowing hip to move back and forth in “cha-cha” motion. It is located in the lumbar region of the spine, attached to the 12th rib and the iliac crest of the hip.

Decribe the 4 muscles of the anterior trunk. Page numbers for diagram in Bowden textbook listed next to each answer for your reference.

  1. Intercostal (pg 140, 141): Draw the ribs together. There are externi (external) intercostal muscles and interni (internal) intercostal muscles. They are located underneath and between each rib (inter= between, costal= rib). As an example: blowing out a candle will contract these muscles together.
  2. Diaphragm (pg 146): Flattens and contracts/ engaged when breathing, singing and making speech. Located just below the ribcage.
  3. Abdominals (pg 147-150): our abdominals are made up of the following core muscles- rectus abdominus, internal & external obliques, and the transverse abdominus. These muscles allow us to flex forward (bend forward at the waist) or laterally from side to side. The obliques run from the iliac crest of the hip to the ribs and allow a twisting motion.
  4. Pectoralis Major (pg 160): This is the broad fan shaped muscle that covers the broad aspect of our chest, attatches to the proximal aspect of the humerus and fans out towards the sternum. This muscle allows for the medial rotation of the shoulder and horizontal adduction. This muscle is useful for hugging, swimming, sawing wood, et.

Describe the two muscles that allow movement of the scapula. Page numbers for the Bowden textbook are listed next to each answer for your reference.


The scapula is your shoulder blade. The muscles that help you move the scapula include:

  1. Levator scapulae (pg 166) this muscle raises the scapula. It attatches to the superior angle of the scapula. It helps to perform movements such as a shoulder shrug.
  2. Rhomboids (pg 167, 168). There are major and minor rhomboid muscles. They work to retract the shoulders. The major rhomboid is larger and the minor is smaller. It attatches to the thoracic spine and to the medial border of the scapula. Allows for the motion of sticking out your chest, rolling shoulders back and pinching shoulder blades together. The rhomboids are just deep to the trapezius muscles.

Describe the 3 Gluteal Muscles and their function. Page number of Bowden textbook listed next to each answer for your reference.

  1. Maximus (pg 222): largest of these four muscles and most common muscle associated with the glutes. It is located on the posterior gluteal line of ilium, adjacent posterior surface or sacrum and coccyx, sacrotuberous ligament, and aponeurosis of the erector spinae muscles.
  2. Medius (pg 223) this muscle runs along the lateral aspect and more superior at the iliac crest of the hip.
  3. Minimus (pg 224) smaller muscle on the inferior lateral aspect of the hip.

** These muscles will allow for extension or abduction of the hip (moving leg out behind me or beside me). Think of kicking a ball or side stepping motions.


Describe the 4 major muscles of the lower limb. Page number of Bowden textbook is listed next to each for your reference.

  1. Quadriceps (pg 227-230) Big muscle group made up of 4 muscles located on the anterior, superior aspect of the leg. They are the main extensor of the knee. They allow for knee and hip extension (i.e kicking a ball or sitting down in a chair)
  2. Hamstrings (pg 231-233) There are three hamstring muscles located on the posterior aspect of the thighs. These also allow for flexion and extension of the hip (i.e to stretch quads you will flex your hamstrings by bending the knee and bringing foot to your glutes). They also allow for extension of the hip when you bring your leg out behind you- engaging hamstrings. (I.e Hamstrings are used in the stages of walking or swinging the leg back and forth, or swimming).
  3. Gastrocnemius & Soleus (pg 240) These are the two main muscles of the calf. Soleus is deep to the gastrocnemius. You cannot feel the soleus while performing massage or palpating the calf. The main function of these two muscles is for plantar flexion (i.e pointing the toes, wearing heels, pressing car gas pedal).
  4. Plantar Fascia (pg 241) This is the connective tissue on the plantar aspect of the foot that holds everything together. It looks. Like a “web” of tissue. It is the most superficial structure of the plantar aspect of the foot that runs from the heel to thr base of the toes. It is attached to the foot muscles, therefore if the fascia web gets tight, the muscles may be tight as well and therefore needs to be stretched. The fascia provides our stability.

Name the 4 superficial muscles of the arm & shoulder and what motion they allow us to make. Page numbers of Bowden textbook listed next to each answer.

  • sorry for the lack of detail here- this is only listed in our manual and was not covered in the pre recorded lecture.
    1. Bicep Brachii (pg 178): Allow us to flex the arm and elbow
    2. Deltoid (pg 171): Allow for abduction of the arm
    3. Triceps Brachii (Pg181): Allow for extension of the arm
    4. Brachioradialis (pg 180): Allow for flexion of the elbow.

Describe what a MUSCLE STRAIN is as well as precautions the therapist should be taking (pathologies of the muscular system & soft tissue)


A muscle strain is the most common cause of sore muscles. When muscles are strained, the fibres are pulled or torn. It varies from mild to severe, and can require surgery to reattach. Causes can inckude repeitive motions or overuse of a muscle or postural strain (i.e lifting at the gym, painting a house or sitting at a computer desk).

Precautions: look out for symptoms such as muscle spasms, pain even when resting, sweeling and limited movement or flexibility. Massage might decrease symptoms if strains is only mild to moderate. Always ask client about pressure and pain level, and perhaps when the pain started to you can determine if the strain is acute or chronic.


Describe what TENDINITIS is and the precautions a therapist should be taking.


Tendinitis: tendon is the section of muscle that attatches to the bone. Inflammation of the tendon due to overuse or friction can cause paint that is similar and often confused with muscle pain. It occurs over time and without treatment can result in scarring and thickening of the tendon- resulting in a chronic state of pain.

Precautions: Do not apply heat! Heat will make swelling worse as there is no real blood supply to this area. It needs to be treated with cold packs. Client can receive massage depending on pressure used. Therapist should always check in with clients in regards to pressure.


Describe Fibromyalgia and the precautions the therapist should be taking.


Fibromyalgia is classified as an arthritic condition but affects the muscle tissue. It affects 2-6% of population. It is a systemic disorder that affects more women than men as well. Clients may complain of hurting all over with no origin or reason for pain. There are usually specific tender points in the neck, shoulders and upper back that are sore to the touch.
Symtoms include fatigue, headaches, cold intolerance, dry mouth, pins & needles in the extremities, poor sleep and poor memory. There is no known cause or origin.

Precautions: client can be very sensitive to touch. Type of pressure can range from very kight to very deep but this will depend on the clients comfort and pain level. Always check with client in regards to pressure.