Movement -What makes it possible?
Table of Contents
The human body is unique in all aspects such that every activity it carries out is controlled and regulated.
Movement begins in intrauterine life. As the fetus in the womb moves the legs, the mother feels this as kicking. As a matter of fact, one of the viability of the way is determined in fetuses, and in newborn, is in their ability to move.
Movement can be triggered by a stimulus; we turn when we hear our names being called, walk when we have to get food to eat, run when there is an emergency or danger, stretch out our hands when we have to receive or give something, etc.
An inability to move and respond to stimulus or touch is one of the major signs of health deterioration and even death.
Movement has become important for anyone to carry out their daily chores and activities in order to earn a living and survive. This is why people who cannot move one or more parts of their bodies find it difficult to adapt and survive in society, especially when they have no form of assistance.
What really helps us move?
The bony framework of the body is called skeleton; humans have a total of 206 bones which constitute the skeleton. This skeleton is the major source of balance in the body, and balance is very essential in movement, due to the force of gravity.
Bones are very strong in nature, being made of calcium and other substances that add to its strength. It is believed that the human bone is stronger than steel, though lighter in weight. The lightweight of bones makes it possible for us to lift various parts of our bodies. In fact, as strong as bones are, they make up only about 15% of our body weight.
Bones also serve as attachment points for most muscles and tendons.
A joint is a junction or meeting point of bones. Although movement doesn’t occur at every joint in the body, joints are the major points where motion takes place.
The major joints in the body are found at the neck, shoulder, elbow, wrist, hip, knee, ankle, etc.
There are various types of movements that occur at these joints, some of which include
- Flexion: This can be easily described as bending. If you keep your palm on your elbow, you are flexing your elbow joint. Similarly, when you kneel, your knee joint is being flexed.
- Extension: It is easily described as straightening. When you fully stretch out your hand to collect something, your elbow is extended. Extension is the opposite of flexion.
- Rotation: This movement occurs majorly at the elbow, it is not a common movement that happens in all the joints. Rotation at the elbow involves turning your whole arm in a clockwise or anti-clockwise degree.
- Supination and Pronation: When you lie on your back, your whole body is in a supine position, the opposite is the case in pronation. Pronation and supination occur majorly at the elbow joint. In simple terms when receiving from someone, your forearm is said to be supinated, and when giving, your forearm is pronated at the elbow joint.
- Abduction: This is a movement away from the body’s midline. When standing at ease, you are abducting at the hip joint.
- Adduction: It is the reverse of abduction. When you stand at attention, you are adducting at the hip joint.
Not all these movements highlighted above can occur at every joint.
Muscles overlay joints and cause movements there when they contract. They are attached to bones by tendons. Muscles vary in size and shape, depending on their location and the action they perform.
The brain sends impulses to the muscles to enable them contract when they contract, their fibers become shorter causing movement to occur at the joint they are acting on.
The Nervous system
No function in the human body can be complete without including the nervous system which is responsible for coordination.
The brain is responsible for controlling both voluntary movements like the initiation of walking, and involuntary movements like immediate withdrawal of your hand from a hot pot.
The brain integrates stimulus and the nerves transmit the impulses from one part of your body to another.
Thanks to all these components and many others, we are able to live out an essential part of our lives.