Muscular System - by Sarah Gehrke, MSN, RN

It twists, it bends, it can cup, it helps suck. The tongue is an essential part of human anatomy. Many of us grew up believing the playful tongue is the strongest muscle in the body.

But, is it really?

There is no straightforward answer to this question. To understand the tongue’s strength and movement, it is necessary to first examine basic muscle anatomy, the muscular system’s relationship to the body, and disorders of the muscular system.

Balance of Body Systems

Every movement in the body involves each body system. Without the active cooperation of the nervous, circulatory, endocrine, respiratory, digestive, immune, skeletal, and muscular systems, just to name a few, the body cannot create movement. Every system of the body overlaps and is interdependent.

Without the nervous system, it is impossible to coordinate the muscles of the body or to modulate the dilation of the blood vessels that supply the brain, heart, bones, or muscles with oxygen-rich blood.

Without the circulatory system, other systems, such as the respiratory, digestive, and endocrine systems would not be able to distribute oxygen, nutrients, and hormones to the cells of the body.

When reviewing anatomy, the skeletal system and the muscular system, collectively known as the musculoskeletal system, are often treated separately. When reviewing movement, however, it makes sense to think of the muscles and bones working together to negotiate the body’s relation to gravity and space.

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