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The walls of the chest and pelvic regions are supported directly by bone, but those of the abdomen are not. Instead, the anterior and lateral walls of the abdomen are composed of layers of broad, flattened muscles. These muscles connect the rib cage and vertebral column to the pelvic girdle. A band of tough connective tissue, called the linea alba, extends from the xiphoid process of the sternum to the symphysis pubis. It is an attachment for some of the abdominal wall muscles. The abdominal wall muscles are shown in figure 9.33, reference plate 62, and are listed in table 9.10. They include the following
Late in the 1980s, the abdominal wheel was a popular device for strengthening stomach muscles. An abdominal wheel is composed of a small rubber wheel with holders on both sides. As shown in Fig. 8.12, a person fixed their feet onto the ground and moved the wheel forward and backward in the direction of the body axis. The person begins to contract their abdominal muscles when the angle 0 between the floor and the lower body is 20 . Determine the motion of the person immediately following the contraction of the abdominal muscle. In solving the problem, represent the body with two rods of equal length Figure 8.12. Schematic drawing of a woman using an abdominal wheel to strengthen abdominal muscle groups. The mechanical model of the person composed of two rigid links plus a contractile cord is shown in the lower part of the figure. Figure 8.12. Schematic drawing of a woman using an abdominal wheel to strengthen abdominal muscle groups. The mechanical model...
The shape of a muscle provides clues to its function. In a parallel muscle, muscle fibers are parallel to the long axis of the muscle (Fig. 1.10a). Most of the muscles in the human body are parallel muscles. While some parallel muscles (abdominal muscles) form flat bands, others are spindle shaped with cordlike tendons at both ends. Such a parallel muscle has a belly. When it contracts it gets shorter and the belly increases in diameter to keep the muscle volume constant. When muscle fibers are parallel to the long axis of the muscle, all the fibers contract the same amount.
A simple mechanical device called an abdominal wheel was promoted in the 1980s as the miracle tool for strengthening abdominal muscles. It is composed of a circular disk with two short cylindrical bars on both sides (holders) (Fig. 9.10). The radius of the disk is R and the length of each of the holders is L. When placed on a flat floor, the disk of the abdominal wheel rolls without slip in such a way that the center C of the disk travels on a horizontal circle at constant velocity vo. The center of this circle is the distal end of one of the holders. The disk has a mass of m and the weight of the holders is negligible. Determine the angular velocity of the rotating disk in the inertial reference frame E. Determine also the ground forces acting on the abdominal wheel.
Like the corneal reflex, the abdominal reflexes may be abolished by ipsi-lateral segmental or contralateral suprasegmental lesions. The stimulus is pain or touch, and the response is a simple abdominal muscle contraction. Abdominal reflexes are usually absent in patients with lax, stretched abdominal muscles and in the elderly.
The anterior branches of the thoracic spinal nerves do not enter a plexus. Instead, they travel into spaces between the ribs and become intercostal (in ter-kos'tal) nerves. These nerves supply motor impulses to the intercostal muscles and the upper abdominal wall muscles. They also receive sensory impulses from the skin of the thorax and abdomen. Clinical Application 11.7 discusses injuries to the spinal nerves.
At the 2nd International Consultation on Erectile and Sexual Dysfunctions in July 2003 in Paris, a multidisciplinary group of experts in the field has proposed new definitions of vaginismus and dyspareunia (2,17). Vaginismus is defined as The persistent or recurrent difficulties of the woman to allow vaginal entry of a penis, a finger, and or any object, despite the woman's expressed wish to do so. There is often (phobic) avoidance and anticipation fear of pain. Structural or physical abnormalities must be ruled out addressed. It is emphasized that reflexive involuntary contraction of the pelvic muscles as well as thigh adduction, contraction of the abdominal muscles, muscles in the back and limbs, associated with varying degrees of fear of pain and of the unknown, typically precludes full entry of a penis, tampon, speculum, or finger. However, discomforting or painful vaginal entry may occur.
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