Overtraining Syndrome and the Use of Muscle in Exercise

In the treatment of soft tissue dysfunction, whether for enhancing muscle performance, preventing injuries, or accelerating recovery from injuries, the study of muscle physiology provides basic guidance. Although detailed discussion of muscle physiology is beyond the scope of this book, this chapter briefly reviews some of the concepts that are relevant to clinical practice.

When people exercise, all types of muscles in the body—skeletal, cardiac, and smooth muscles—are activated and coordinated for the same purpose: to perform a successful movement. Skeletal muscles are under conscious control by the mind. Most skeletal muscles—for example, deltoids, pectorals, and biceps—attach to and move the skeleton. The human body contains more than 600 skeletal muscles. The thumb alone is controlled by nine muscles. Although the physical structures of smooth, cardiac, and skeletal muscles differ somewhat, their control mechanisms and principles of action are similar.

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