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Anatomy & Physiology Paramedic Chapter 4


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The strong tendon that joins the muscles in the posterior leg to the calcaneous.
Achilles Tendon
A cellular protein found in myofilaments that is active in muscular contractions, cellular movement and maintenance of cell shape.
Actin Myofilament
A change in electrical potential that occurs when a cell or tissue has been activated by a stimulus.
Action Potential
The short muscle that adducts the thigh.
Adductor Brevis
The long msucle that adducts the hip.
Adductor Longus
The area within the pelvis that contains the anus.
Anal Triangle
Muscles working in opposition to each other.
A condition caused by damage, either through trauma or infection,to the facial nerve, resulting in an inability to move the facial muscles on the affected side.
Bell's Palsy
The large portion of muscle between the origin and the insertion.
Located in the posterior compartment of the leg, it flexes and laterally rotates the knee and extends the hip.
Biceps Femoris
An intracellular protein that calcium binds to, resulting in muscle contraction.
Muscle that is found only in the heart, providing the contractions needed to propel blood through the circulatory system.
Cardiac Muscle
An anatomic space within the body that is enclosed by fascia.
Accumulation of blood or fluid in an anatomic compartment, typically following trauma, resulting in compression of blood vessels and tissue damage secondary to ischemia and, if not recognized and promptly treated, death of muscle and loss of the limb.
Compartment Syndrome
A flattened dome-shaped muscle that is the main muscle of breathing, located at the base of the thorax, seperating the thorax from the abdomen.
The delicate connective tissue surrounding individual muscular fibers.
Groups of muscles that cause extension.
Extensor Muscles
Fluid outside of the cells.
Extracellular Fluid
Movement of the eyes in various directions.
Extraocular Movements
A layer of fibrous connective tissue outside the epimysium that seperates individual muscles.
Groups of muscles that cause flexion when contracted.
Flexor Muscles
Conduction areas between cells (eg, in visceral smooth muscle) that interconnect individual muscle cells.
Gap Junctions
An iron-containing pigment found in red blood cells, carries 97% of oxygen.
The end of a muscle that is attached to the bone that is undergoing the greatest movement.
Branching fibers in cardiac muscle that allow action potentials to pass from cell to cell.
Intercalated Disks
The ability of a muscle to generate its own electrical activity.
Intrinsic Automaticity
An organic acid that can lower the intracellular pH.
Lactic Acid
Specialized nerve cells that deliver an impulse to muscle cells, causing them to contract.
Motor Neurons
One of the two types of smooth muscle, it is formed into sheets of muscle (as in the walls of blood vessels), small bundles of muscles (as in the iris of the eye), or single cells (as in the capsule of the spleen).
Multiunit Smooth Muscle
Fibers that contract causing movement; three types of muscle are present in the body: skeletal, smooth, and cardiac muscle.
A bundle of skeletal muscle cells bound together by connective tissue and forming one of the costituent elements of a muscle.
Muscle Fasciculus
Threadlike structures that extend from one end of the muscle fiber to the other.
The individual protein filaments, composed of either actin or myosin, that make up a myofibril.
An iron-containing red pigment, similar to hemoglobin that is found in muscle fibers.
A fibrous globulin of muscle that reacts with actin to form actomyosin
Myosin Myofilaments
The junction between a motor neuron and a muscle fiber. One type of a synapse.
Neuromusclular Junction
A chemical substance that transmits nerve impulses across a synapse.
The attachment of muscle to the more stationary of two bones.
A tempoarary oxygen deficiency in muscles after strenuous exercise, characterized by heavy breathing until the muscles have been supplied with sufficient oxygen.
Oxygen Debt
A deep muscle of the medial compartment that adducts, flexes, and internally rotates the thigh.
Pectineus Muscle
The largest muscle of the chest wall, it adducts and internally rotates the shoulder.
Pectoralis Major
The connective tissue sheath that surrounds a muscle and forms sheaths for the bundles of muscle fibers.
The area below the coccygeus and levator ani muscles, which forms the floor of the pelvis.
The proximal portion of the muscle fiber in the neuromuscular junction.
Postsynaptic Terminal
The distal end of the nerve fiber in the neuromuscular junction.
Presynaptic Terminal
The muscle in a group of muscles that has the major role in movement.
Prime Mover
Muscle contained in the anterior compartment of the thigh that extends the knee when contracted.
Quadriceps Femoris
The linear muscle of the midline of the abdomen.
Rectus Abdominis
A special group of four muscles that forms a cap over the proximal humerus and ties the humerus to the scapula. It controls rotation at the shoulder joint.
Rotator Cuff
The thin transparent sheath surrounding a striated muscle fiber.
Any of the repeating structural units of striated muscle fibrils.
A system of membranes that transport materials in muscle cells.
Sarcoplasmic Reticulum
The longest muscle in the human body, it is located in the anterior compartment of the thigh and flexes both the hip and knee when it contracts.
Sartorius Muscle
Muscles of respiration that elevate the first two ribs during inspiration.
Scalene Muscles
Striated muscles that are under direct volitional control of the brain; also called voluntary muscle.
Skeletal Muscle
The movement of the myofilaments during contraction of the muscle.
Sliding Filament Mechanism
Muscle that carries out much of the automatic work of the body, such as moving food through the digestiv tract and dilating and constricting the pupils of the eye; also called involuntary muscle.
Smooth Muscle
The space between nerves and muscles in the neuromuscular junction across which a nerve impulse is transmitted by a neurotransmitter.
Synaptic Cleft
Muscles that work together to accomplish a particular movement.
Tough, ropelike cords of fibrous tissue that attach muscles to bones.
A test used to evaluate the integrity of the Achilles tendon for possible rupture.
Thompson's Test
The region within the pelvis that contains the structures of the urogenital system.
Urogenital Triangle
Sheets of muscle found in the digestive, reproductive, and urinary tracts.
Visceral Smooth Muscle
A layman's term for traumatic soft-tissue injury to the structures of the neck, associated with sudden flexion or extension.
Supination of the forearm against resistance to evaluate whether a patient has bicipital tendinitis.
Yergason's Test

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