INVERSE STRETCH REFLEX
The more a muscle is stretched, the stronger is its contraction up to a certain point when it suddenly relaxes. This is a result of stimulation of the Golgi ten-don organs , which are networks of nerve endings, located in series, in the tendon of a muscle. Stimulation of the sensory nerve from them inhibits the motor neuron of that muscle and stimu-lates that of the antagonistic muscle. This is the in-verse stretch reflex ortendon reflex(see Figure 5.33), a protective reflex preventing injury to the mus-cle and tearing of tendons from the bone.
Direct stimulation of the alpha motor neuron (in-nervation to the skeletal muscle) and gamma motor neuron and interplay of various reflexes help contract muscle smoothly and control the force and speed of various groups of muscle in a precise manner.
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