Question: how do muscles and nerves work?

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  1. Hi courtnieroesler,

    Muscles and nerves are vital to our functioning and not only allow us to walk around and play sport, but also mean that the gut works and our arteries can contract and expand as the blood passes through them!

    Nerves ‘talk’ or interact with every singe muscle in our body. That must be hundreds and hundreds of nerve / muscle conversations.

    Say you want to move your leg, well your bain lights up and an electrical signal travels down the nerves to the specific muscle. The spot where the nerve meets the muscle is called the neuro-muscular-junction. At this tiny pinpoint spot, where the nerve talks to the muscle, there is a tiny gap.

    When the signal from the brain that travels down the nerve hits this spot, the nerve cell releases a messenger chemical. This messenger chemical is called ‘acetylcholine’ which is then ‘received’ by the muscle cells.

    Now lets just get the muscle sorted before we go on… a muscle is made up of bundles of long muscle cells and then bundles of these bundles. When the messenger chemical hits the muscle, it causes the fibres within the muscle to slide against each other, which causes the muscle to contract, and BINGO – leg moves!

    Pretty cool stuff… considering this all happens in a nanosecond!!