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Human Diaphragm: Important Chest Muscle

Which is

The diaphragm is an extensive skeletal striated muscle that separates the thoracic from the abdominal cavity. It is very important in the breathing process of humans. The diaphragm is found in all mammals and also in some bird species.

Human diaphragm

In humans, the diaphragm is located near the lumbar vertebrae, the lower ribs, and the sternum. It has three main openings that allow the passage of the esophagus, nerves, aorta, vessels of the lymphatic system and vessels of the chest.

In humans, this muscle has a rough aspect and is upward, with its anterior part being higher than the posterior.

Features and Functions

When relaxed, the diaphragm has a vaulted shape. During inspiration, this muscle contracts and when stretched increases the capacity of the chest. In this process. air tends to enter the lungs to compensate for the void generated. The moment this muscle goes into relaxation, the accumulated air is expelled.

Another important feature of the diaphragm is its help in the process of food digestion. By contracting, the diaphragm puts pressure on the abdomen. Diaphragm movements are also important for: coughing, sneezing, childbirth and the process of defecation.


- The common and uncomfortable hiccup is caused by involuntary spasms of the diaphragm.