Most skeletal muscles are not directly aligned with the desired motions of the joints. This means that they are potentially able to produce secondary motions at these joints. This potential secondary role of a muscle is very important to medical personnel for two reasons:
a. First, during evaluation of a patient's muscular system, a muscle may only appear to be working properly. In fact, it may not be functioning. Its action may have been taken over by another muscle acting in its secondary role.
b. Next, one may know that a muscle is no longer functioning properly. In such a case, it may be possible to design exercises to develop the secondary role of another muscle so that it will perform the action of the first muscle as a part of a rehabilitation program.
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This ebook provides an introductory explanation of the workings of the human body, with an effort to draw connections between the body systems and explain their interdependencies. A framework for the book is homeostasis and how the body maintains balance within each system. This is intended as a first introduction to physiology for a college-level course.