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Muscles in the Breathing Process

In: Computers and Technology

Submitted By BILLIEBOO921010
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Describe the role of muscles in the breathing process

The intercostal muscles are tiny muscles located in between each rib. There are 12 sets of ribs and these muscles are located between each rib and on each side. In between each rib there is two bands of muscles, one called the internal intercostal muscles and the other called the external intercostal muscles. In between each of these muscles is the nerve and blood supply.

The most important muscle to breathing is the diaphragm. The diaphragm has its own nerve supply and can operate as a voluntary muscle or involuntary muscle, thus allowing us to hold our breath or slow our breathing if we wish to. When the diaphragm contracts, it moves down towards the stomach, this creates a vacuum in the cavity containing the lungs. This vacuum causes the lungs to expand and pull air down and in. When we breathe out and the diaphragm relaxes and moves up again, it no longer causes a vacuum. This in combination with the rib bones relaxing to their normal position help to push air back out of the lungs. The involuntary act of breathing is driven by carbon dioxide sensors in the body. These carbon dioxide sensors will send a message directly to the brain to force the body to breathe again,
(i.e., make the diaphragm and intercostal muscles contract.)

During times of stress, injury or just difficulty breathing, other muscles will kick in to help out. These muscles are called accessory muscles and are not used during normal breathing. These muscles are the front of the neck (sternocleidomastoid), the chest pectorals muscles and the abdomen. When these muscles are working there may be other more prominent issues going on, like a panic attack.…...

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