In his life, the muscle mass of a person increases by a factor of 30. This is proof of how important this organ system is to the human body. What is the musculature? How is it structured and what function does it fulfill? With which diseases and complaints do you have to reckon with regard to the musculature?

What is the musculature?

Muscles are organs that move the - in this case human - organism with the help of tension and relaxation. These are movements that affect active movement as well as systems of internal bodily functions.

For example, we use muscle power to move our legs while walking, and the heart also pumps blood through the entire organism thanks to muscle power.

Incidentally, the name musculature comes from the Latin word "musculus", which means "little mouse" and therefore suggests that a tense muscle under the skin is reminiscent of a mouse.

Anatomy & Construction

The musculature consists of muscle tissue, which in turn consists of muscle cells or muscle fibers. The muscle is surrounded by the fascia. It is an elastic shell of connective tissue and surrounds several meat fibers.

These, too, are each held together by connective tissue, which is permeated with nerves and blood vessels. A meat fiber in turn is divided into fiber bundles. These bundles are stored so that they can be moved to make the muscle flexible. Also, the fiber bundles do not form the smallest unit, because they consist of individual muscle fibers.

Muscle fibers are not capable of dividing. This means that they can not regrow if it comes to a loss. The number of muscle fibers is thus determined from birth, with muscle, the individual fibers are only thicker.

Functions & Tasks

A human has 656 muscles. The extent to which they affect the body mass depends on the lifestyle of the individual. In men, the proportion of muscle is 37% to 57% in women by 27% to 43%. When the muscle becomes active, it first tenses up and finally relaxes again.

In this way, he exercises a movement or releases a force. This contraction is triggered by electrical impulses that transmit the brain or spinal cord to the nerves. Some muscles are called agonists and antagonists, that is, players and opponents who act in opposite directions. An example would be the biceps and triceps.

Synergists, on the other hand, are muscles that work together in certain movements. Furthermore, the muscle function knows adductors, which are muscles that are needed to attract something to the body. On the other hand, we need abductors if, for example, we make spreading movements.


There are numerous problems and illnesses that can occur in connection with the muscles. Everyone knows the soreness after high stress of certain muscle parts, and also muscle spasms, caused by magnesium deficiency, are a phenomenon with which especially athletes often have to "fight".

In addition to these rather harmless appearances, there are also injuries such as muscle strains or muscle fiber tears. In a strain, unlike the fiber tear, there is no tissue damage. Often it is sufficient to protect the affected lot and to cool. If the symptoms are ignored, it can also lead to a hamstring. Especially in athletes in this case, even a surgical procedure is often necessary.

Muscle hardening and muscle bruising are also typical injuries caused by misuse, overuse or falls. Apart from muscle diseases due to external influences, there are also those that have genetic or neurological causes. For example, progressive muscle atrophy is often due to a genetic defect.

Muscle weakness, on the other hand, is a neurological disorder in which signal transmission between nerve and muscle is disturbed. Especially if you suffer from muscle problems that are not due to harmless symptoms such as muscle soreness or a slight bruise, you should always seek the advice of a doctor.

Typical & common diseases

  • Hamstring
  • muscle weakness
  • compartment syndrome
  • Muscle inflammation (myositis)
  • Muscle atrophy (muscular dystrophy)
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