Your arms are made up of a complex network of muscles, bones, and joints. Understanding arm anatomy and how this intricate system functions can help you appreciate the importance of taking care of your arms and preventing injuries. In this blog, we will explore the bones and muscles that make up our arms. Additionally, we’ll touch upon common arm injuries as well.
Bones of the Arm
Your arm is composed of three bones, each serving a vital purpose:
- Humerus: This is the longest bone in your body other than your leg bone. It is located in your upper arm and extends from shoulder to elbow.
- Radius: This is located in your forearm and helps you move your arm and wrist. This bone also supports a lot of your arm’s muscles, tendons, ligaments, and blood vessels.
- Ulna: This bone is longer than the two bones in your forearm. It helps move your arm, wrist, and hand.
Arm Muscle Anatomy
You have more than 20 muscles in your upper arm and your forearm. These muscles are at the top and some are on the underside of your forearm.
Forearm Muscle Anatomy
1. Superficial Muscles: These start below your elbow and extend to your wrist:
- Flexor carpi ulnaris
- Palmaris longus
- Flexor carpi radialis
- Flexor digitorum superficialis
- Pronator teres
These are on the top of your forearm:
- Extensor carpi radialis longus and brevis
- Extensor digitorum communis
- Extensor digiti minimi
- Extensor carpi ulnaris
2. Deep Forearm Muscles: These muscles are under your superficial muscles:
- Flexor digitorum profundus
- Flexor pollicis longus
- Pronator quadratus
These muscles are located deep under your skin on the top of your forearm.
- Abductor pollicis longus
- Extensor pollicis brevis
- Extensor pollicis longus
- Extensor indicis
Upper Arm Muscles
These are your upper arm muscles located between your shoulder and the elbow:
- Biceps brachii: This is in the middle of your upper arm. It’s located close to your skin’s surface.
- Brachialis: This deep muscle sits under your biceps muscle.
- Coracobrachialis: This muscle is located deep under your biceps and connects to your scapula, which is the shoulder blade.
- Triceps brachii: This sits on the back of your arm, above your elbow. This muscle is also under your skin’s surface.
What are the Functions of the Arm?
Your arm has various muscles and bones that help you tackle various small and big movements. These movements can be as small as moving your fingers or as big as pushing or lifting a heavy object. In general, these are some common functions your arm can do:
- Playing sports
- Playing musical instruments
Common Arm Injuries
Some prevalent arm injuries include:
- Tendinitis: This happens after you have a repeated injury to an area such as your wrist.
- Bursitis: This type of injury happens in the elbow. It can occur due to an accident or overuse of the joint. Notably, bursa is a sac filled with liquid that acts as a cushion between your bone and other parts. When it’s inflamed, you have bursitis.
- Sprains: This occurs when you have a stretched or torn ligament. Falling or twisting of your arm can cause a sprain
- Dislocations: This occurs when you have dislocated your joint. It can happen when you fall or sometimes when playing a tough sport. Dislocation also needs immediate medical treatment.
- Fractures: This occurs when you have a break in your bone. Fractures are common in accidents, sports, and a bad fall.
- Nerve problems: Nerves carry messages between your body and mind. Any damage to your nerves can disrupt the message process. This leads to movement problems, pain, and other health issues.
- Osteoarthritis: This is a type of arthritis. It happens when the cartilage that pads your bones breaks down and becomes rough. As a result, you feel pain when your bones rub together.
Ways to Prevent Arm Injuries
To protect your arms from injuries, consider these tips:
- Before engaging in activities that involve your arms, always warm up.
- Always use correct postures while lifting or exercising to prevent strain.
- Don’t do repetitive motions. It puts stress on your muscles.
- Allow yourself a break during prolonged use to prevent overexertion.
- Do strength training to strengthen your arm and shoulder muscles for added support.
In conclusion, understanding your arm’s anatomy is essential in maintaining its health and functionality. If you ever experience discomfort or pain in your arm, then don’t hesitate to consult a doctor. They can provide guidance to keep your arms in their best shape.