The neuromuscular system can generate a certain force against resistance. Through efferent motor nerve pathways, man gives instructions for contraction to the muscles through commands from the central nervous system. This process can be controlled at will.
The maximum achievable force of the neuromuscular system under arbitrary control corresponds to the so-called maximum force of a person. This maximum strength depends mainly on the muscle fiber qualities. However, the maximum strength of a person is not to be understood as the generally highest possible power output of the neuromuscular system. This highest possible power output corresponds rather to the absolute force.
Absolute power consists of arbitrary maximum force and protected autonomous reserves of power that elude volitional control. The maximum force is therefore deliberately provided. The absolute force can not be provided on command, but is subject to autonomous controls and thus a protection against consumption. The access to the thus protected power reserves is granted only in emergency situations, for example under fear of death.
In emergency situations, people have greater powers than actually imaginable. Exemplary stories about dainty, caring mothers who rescue their own children from emergencies after an accident are more than just a myth. In some circumstances, people actually develop unimaginable powers and grow far beyond themselves.
This is possible thanks to the absolute power of the neuromuscular system, or rather thanks to the neuromuscular power reserves that have been placed under autonomous protection for the "emergency". Absolute Power is therefore a sum of the maximum arbitrary force and non-arbitrary reserves that are subject to independent protection against access. The difference between practically and arbitrarily retrievable maximum force and the maximum theoretically producible by the nerve-muscle system is referred to as a power deficit.
As long as survival is assured, the body will not release its autonomic power reserves for access. From an evolutionary point of view, this "bunker behavior" is a widespread survival principle. Generally, every organism saves strength where it is possible for the sake of survival. The evolutionary-biological principle of the "easier way", which is preferred by all living things, also refers to this connection. The background of this principle is protection against injury or life-threatening fatigue.
Since the power reserves of the neuromuscular system are normally protected from deliberate access, they are available for survival in life-threatening situations. For example, the reserves can be called up under extreme circumstances such as massive emotional stress in the form of anger or fear of death.
Decisive for the absolute force in addition to the physiological cross-section of the muscles its operational capability as a function of the nerve stimulation. In emergency situations and stress situations, the so-called Leven of Arousal increases in the central nervous system. The body is more receptive to stimuli, and the transmission of stimuli to the muscles can also increase. For this reason, with a mediocre high level of arousal, body performance is well above average and power reserves are released.
Also relevant for the release is the hormonal influence of the so-called stress hormones. The most important of them: adrenaline, which stimulates the supply of energy.
In addition to emergency situations, the autonomously protected stress reserves can also be called up by external influence with electrostimulation, hypnosis or performance-enhancing substances.
The power deficit between arbitrary maximum force and involuntary absolute force is about 30 percent for a normally trained person. Through competitive sports or IK training (intramuscular coordination training), the power deficit can be demonstrably reduced by about five percent. On the other hand, the intervention in the evolutionary biologically meaningful "bunker behavior" of the body is not necessarily beneficial.
The maximum force differs from person to person, for example with the amount of exercise, with the nutritional status and many other factors. Also diseases can limit the maximum strength of humans, so for example illnesses of the contractile elements within the musculature. For example, structural changes of myosin based on genetic mutations, as is the case with familial hypertrophic cardiomyopathy, may be mentioned in this context.
Myopathies also limit the arbitrary maximum force. The same applies to a deficiency or defect of actin, a contractile muscle structure protein. In addition, inflammatory diseases of the motor supplying nervous tissue limit the maximum force by leaving lesions on the supplying nerves and thus impairing the conductivity of the tissue. Thus, contraction commands reach the muscles only partially or not at all.
In addition, the degenerative and neurogenic disease ALS attacks the central motor neurons and paralyzes all muscle movements of the organism piece by piece. As a consequence, a reduced maximum force also leads to an overall reduced absolute force, since the absolute force is the sum of maximum force and protected reserves. In muscle paralysis, therefore, the maximum strength of these muscles is no longer present.
However, paralyzed people were reported in life-threatening situations, who were suddenly able to move again, albeit to a lesser extent. Presumably, this phenomenon is due to the increased level of arousal, which is in mortal danger in the central nervous system and also makes damaged nerve tissue conductively conductive. Completely destroyed nerve tissue, however, will not be reactivated in mortal danger.
Another conceivable explanation could be the psyche. For example, in demyelinating diseases of the nervous system and resulting paralysis, a very slight remyelination and thus the recovery of a certain nerve conductivity is not completely excluded. The paralysis of the conviction, however, often prevents patients from walking in this situation even if it were possible to a certain extent. In mortal danger, this psychological phenomenon is probably overcome.
In addition, previously performed functions of the defective nervous tissue can be transmitted to healthy nerve tissue, which makes use of, for example, the physiotherapy after strokes. Even a spontaneous transmission of functions in case of acute danger to life is not excluded from the outset.Tags: