The Neuromuscular System

The Neuromuscular System 

Have you heard about the neuromuscular system? This system includes all the muscles in the body and all the nerves that connect them. All of our body movements require communication between our brain and the muscles. The nervous system bridges this gap and links thoughts and actions by sending messages, or electrical impulses, from the brain to the body. Nerves and muscles work together in this system to make the body move and manage vital functions like breathing.

Muscles are responsible for mobility, stability, posture, circulation, respiration, digestion, urination, childbirth, vision, organ protection, and temperature regulation. They make up about 40% of total body weight. There are about 600 muscles in the human body. 



Nerves are responsible for sending electrical signals to the brain to communicate sensations and to move muscles. They control important body functions such as digesting food and maintaining heart rate. There are about 7 trillion nerves in the body. The nervous system is the body's communication network that works together with the endocrine systems to control various functions. A nerve is a bundle of fibers that receives and sends messages between the brain and the body. These messages are sent by chemical and electrical signals in cells, called neurons, that make up the nerves. 

This system includes the peripheral nerves that exit from the spinal cord and connect to the muscles. There are three types of muscles: cardiac in the heart, smooth muscle, and skeletal muscle. Skeletal muscle is controlled voluntarily and enables our bodies to move. They attach to the bones by tendons. Smooth muscle is involuntary and is controlled by the autonomic nervous system. It includes the walls of blood vessels, lymphatic vessels, the bronchioles of the lungs, the urinary bladder, and reproductive tracts. These types of muscle movements occur in response to a need or activity rather than by a conscious decision. Cardiac muscle is a type of involuntary muscle. 


Nerves of the Body 

A nerve is a bundle of axons or nerve fibers from many neurons that are wrapped in multiple layers of connective tissue that contain blood vessels. 

The nervous system is divided into two systems. The Central nervous system (CNS) is the body’s command center, made up of the brain and spinal cord. The second system is the Peripheral nervous system (PNS), which is made up of the nerves that branch off from the CNS and transmit signals. 

The PNS is broken up into two divisions. The sensory division transmits information from inside and outside the body to the CNS. For example, this can be feelings of pain, smell, or even things we see. The second division is the motor division, which receives signals from the CNS that cause an action to occur. For example, these can be voluntary, like moving your leg, or involuntary, like the muscle contractions involved in digestion. 

There are 12 pairs of cranial nerves which are part of the PNS. These nerves originate from the brain and move outward to the neck, head, and face. These nerves can be sensory, motor, or both. Included is the olfactory nerve, which has sensory function and transmits information about smell to the brain. The oculomotor nerve is the motor function that controls the movement of the eyes. The facial nerve has sensory and motor functions that can transmit things like taste and movement of the face.  

The vagus nerve is the longest cranial nerve. It is involved in many areas of the body, such as the throat, heart, and digestive tract. 

Spinal nerves are also part of the PNS and branch from the spinal cord. There are 31 pairs of these, and they are grouped by the area of the spine they are associated with. These nerves are also capable of both sensory and motor function. 

There are then several hundred peripheral nerves throughout the body. There are sensory nerves that communicate about feelings on the skin, and nerves connected to the internal organs that all merge together, creating the sensory branches of the cranial and spinal nerves. One nerve may divide into 2 to 30 other peripheral nerves!


Other Systems Involved:  


Since this system is so vast and expansive, many other parts of the body are involved or connected. The skeletal system plays an important role in both these systems, and together they comprise the Neuro-Musculo-Skeletal system. These systems are so interconnected that you can’t change one without affecting one of the others. The skeletal system is one of the largest organ systems in the body and is richly innervated by a network of nerves. 

Immune System 

The nervous and immune systems were considered separate systems that didn’t connect. However, new research has uncovered a direct cellular interaction between them. The latest research found that not only is there crosstalk between these systems, but they are closely intertwined. However, despite this new research, since the 1970s, studies have been done on the importance of regular exercise and physical activity supporting the immune system. The communication between the skeletal and immune systems is complex, happens in various ways, and involves many aspects. Muscles produce and release compounds that play important roles in the activation and distribution of immune cells. Muscles also store amino acids that are used by the body during trauma and infection.

Endocrine System/Hormones

The Endocrine system is a collection of glands that produce and secrete around 50 hormones in the body. These hormones are important to many vital body functions. The brain relies on chemical messengers sent by the endocrine system to transmit instructions throughout the body, all done by the nervous system. The endocrine system works with the nervous system to communicate, coordinate responses, and deal with stress. The endocrine system also works closely with the muscular system to produce muscle contraction and relaxation events. 

As you can see, the body is complex, but it’s all connected. One system affects the other. There is so much to learn about the human body and each of it’s elaborate systems. 


Fun Neuromuscular Facts:  

  • There are three types of muscles: skeletal, cardiac, and smooth. Skeletal muscles are the only ones that can be controlled consciously.
  • There are about 650 muscles in the human body, which make up about 40% of total weight. 
  • The largest muscle is found in the buttocks, and the smallest in the ear. 
  • Nerve impulses can travel at a speed of up to 100 meters per second. 
  • Every square inch of the body has around 1,300 pain receptors; 100 are for pressure, about 40 of those are for cold, and 6 for warmth.
  • The nervous system ranges vastly. Worms only have a few 100, while elephants have about 300 billion. 
  • Foreheads and fingertips are the most sensitive due to a greater density of nerve fibers. 
  • The sciatic nerve is the longest nerve in the body. It runs from the spinal cord to the toes on each side of the body. 
  • The brain has about 100 billion neurons, while the spinal cord has about 13.5 million. 
  • Ions are important for chemical signaling. These are sodium, potassium, chloride, and calcium. 
  • The fastest signal transmission in the body is the alpha motor neuron in the spinal cord, at 268 miles per hour. The slowest is in the skin, at only 1 mile per hour. 
  • Each nerve is one cell long, so the sciatic nerve, though made up of many many neurons, is still one SUPER long cell.


What are the building blocks of this system?

Protein is found in every cell of the human body, and it is the building block of muscle fiber. Proteins are made up of amino acids. Neurons are the building blocks of nerves. Calcium is the primary building block of bone. 

This huge system has big nutrition needs! Keeping properly hydrated is one of the best things you can do to keep this system running smoothly. Because muscle is made up of protein, it needs a lot of protein to stay healthy. Since bones are made up of calcium, we need calcium to keep them strong and healthy. Magnesium is also necessary for this system, which has many benefits for the entire body. Glutamine is an essential amino acid (meaning your body can’t produce it). This can come from chicken, fish, beef, dairy, eggs, and spinach—vitamin D for healthy hormones, potassium for healthy muscle contraction, and carrying nutrients to muscles. Carbohydrates support muscle growth as well as repair and is a good source of glycogen. B12 helps build red blood cells, carries oxygen to muscles, and helps metabolize protein and fat for use in muscle. Iron helps regulate metabolism and promote a healthy immune system. Beta-alanin, which comes from animal protein, asparagus, and seaweed, helps to balance inflammation response. Vitamin C helps support collagen production. Vitamin E helps remove free radicals.

There are many nutrients that this system needs to stay healthy. Eating a whole, balanced, nutritious diet will provide these nutrients.

Nutrition Support: 

Dark Leafy Greens


Citrus Fruit

Cruciferous Veggies


Oily Fish

Seeds & Nuts

Olive Oil


Tart Cherry






Bone Broth


Flax seeds












All B Vitamins

Trace Minerals

Vitamins A, D, C, K






Lifestyle Support:  

  • Find movement you enjoy
  • Eat whole foods
  • Get enough sleep
  • Stretch
  • Eat omega-rich foods
  • Reduce inflammation-causing foods such as fried foods, processed foods, and high-sugar foods
  • Taje magnesium salt and Epsom salt baths or soaks
  • Get massages
  • Hydrate
  • Use a foam roller
  • Take electrolytes
  • Get the daily recommended amount of potassium 
  • Remember R.I.C.E. 
    • Rest
    • Ice
    • Compress
    • Elevate
  • Try out nerve flossing
  • Try out CARs movement, controlled articular rotations
  • Somatic body movement & exercise 

Herbal Friends of the Neuromuscular System:  



Teasel Root

Chinese Skullcap


White Willow Bark

Myrrh Gum

Indian Tinospora

Eucommia Bark




St.Johns Wort


Devils Claw









Black Cohosh



Lemon Balm


Cramp Bark



Companion RidgeCrest Products:  


Supporting Supplements:  

  • Alpha lipoic acid
  • Glucosamine
  • Chondroitin
  • Gamma linoleic acid
  • S-Adenosylmethionine (SAMe)
  • Collagen
  • Cherry juice
  • Fish Oil

Related Blogs: 

Comments (0)

Leave a comment