Equilibrium Anatomy

The ear is divided into 3 different parts:
  • Outer ear
  • Middle ear
  • Inner ear
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The inner ear is responsible for balance. The semicircular canal is part of the inner ear. The semicircular canal is lined with cilia and a fluid called endolympth. The way this works is whenever your head moves the endolympth moves the cilia, this is a motion sensor. This is how the brain knows how to keep the body balanced in all postures. There are three parts to the semicircular canals that serve different senses of directional balance. The semicircular canals deal with different movements of the head like; up-and-down, side-to-side, and tilting from one side to the other. The utricle and the saccule are located near the semicircular canals. The saccule and utricle has a small area of hair cells that are called the macula. The utricle is vertically oriented and the saccule is horizontally. Whenever you move your head, the gelatinous sheet that rests on the saccule where the weight of it shifts. Making them bind. When this happens it stimulates nerve impulses in the vestibular nerve and information is sent to the CNS about the head position. Then the brain sends impulses to skeletal muscles instructing them to respond to maintain balance.
There is static equilibrium and dynamic equilibrium. Static equilibrium is when the equilibrium is maintained in a fixed position. Dynamic equilibrium is when the body moves in a controlled way is being maintained while performing a task which involves movement. For instance, playing a sport.
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