Entries by Mary Bai

How to Stop a Cramp

Reciprocal inhibition is a neuromuscular reflex where if one muscle group contracts, the opposing muscle group must relax to allow movement through a joint.  Getting a muscle to relax can stop a cramp. Contracting or stretching a cramping muscle can make it worse. First, figure out which muscle is cramping and needs to relax. Next, […]

Fast Twitch vs Slow Twitch Muscles, CNS vs PNS

Fast Twitch muscles have always been associated with speed. The central nervous system sends the action signal to the muscles. The fuel already stored inside the muscle cell reacts to the nerve signal creating intense kinetic energy for a fast twitch muscle response. Creatine Phosphate, an amino acid, releases the phosphate that was synthesized in […]

Pound Sand or Palpate Muscles

To understand how to find and isolate muscle direction, imagine you are at the beach. Pound your heel into the wet sand. What happens? Nothing. The sand resists. Now, gently wiggle your heel into the sand, slowly, little by little, moving bits of sand side to side. A whole new world of life appears. The […]

Balancing Communication between Hamstrings and Quadriceps Case 1

Mary Bai, Case Studies of Muscle Function Context: Loss of balance is a common issue in certain musculoskeletal disorders such as Parkinson’s Disease. The hamstrings and quadriceps are strong muscle groups that play a key role in lower body movement and stability. If these two opposing muscle groups are not working well independently or together, […]

Muscle Group Rebalancing after Tendon Realignment

Vocabulary Ligament attaches bone to bone; strong, crisscross pattern; stabilizes joint Tendon attaches muscle to bone; straight fibers; communicates movement direction Muscle Function: Agonist: motor neurons contract; Antagonist: sensory neurons lengthen Bones attachment sites of tendons and ligaments on bone define movement direction Joint a pulley system for movement of bones using leveraged muscle positions […]