Acrylic art showing muscle fibers in cross section. Pain fibers are depicted in green to represent the problem of muscle pain. Skeletal muscle, above, is what generates the force to move our joints. A muscle is composed of multiple bundles of cells called muscle fibers. Unlike other cells in the body, the muscle fibers have more than one nucleus (blue dots above). The muscle fibers are organized on groups and are under the control of the central nervous system. For skeletal muscles, we voluntarily contract to move the limb. This is different from other types of muscle like cardiac (heart) muscle or smooth muscle (located in blood vessels, intenstinal track). All muscle receives nerve input to make the muscle contract, alpha motor neurons, but also has nerve input to sense the external environment, sensory neurons. These nerve fibers (green above) course around the muscle fibers, and include those that sense painful signals. Muscle pain is extremely common affecting up to 50% of the population.
This painting was selected for exhibit at the Iowa State Fair in 2016-42% acceptance rate!
This painting was featured on the cover of the journal “PAIN”.