Posterior Muscles - Posterior Muscle Diagram
Home
Health News
Human Body
Biology
Chemistry
Glossary
Textbooks
Muscle Disorders

Human Body
Study Section

Human Body Index
Health Glossary



Any Questions ?


Woman's Guide to Muscle and Strength, by Irene Lewis-McCormick

Structure of Muscle
(and associated connective tissues)

Skeletal muscles consist of 100,000s of muscle cells that are also known as "muscle fibres".
These cells act together to perform the functions of the specific muscle of which they are a part.

This is possible due to the integration of the muscle with the other tissues and structures of other associated body systems - especially the bones (skeletal system) or, in the cases of facial muscles, the skin (integumentary system), and also the nerves (nervous system).

A general example of the structure of muscle and associated tissues is shown below.

Myofibril Muscle Fibre = Muscle Fiber = Muscle Cell Endomysium Fascicle Epimysium Perimysium Skeletal Muscle Fascia Tendon Periosteum

Above: Diagram of the Structure of Muscle
(and associated connective tissue)


Tissue Type

Description of Tissue Type

Periosteum

Periosteum is the outer layer of bone (as illustrated below).
It is to this layer that ligaments and tendons are attached.

Definition of Periosteum

Tendon

Tendons attach muscle to bone.
They are tough pale coloured (whitish) cords formed from many parallel bundles of collagen fibres. Tendons are flexible (they bend around other tissues, changing position as they move), yet inelastic.

Tendon sheath
(not illustrated above)

Some tendons are surrounded by tubular double-layered sacs that are lined with synovial membrane and contain synovial fluid. These structures are called "tendon sheaths". Their purpose is to minimise friction associated with movement at the join, and to facilitate movement of the joint.

Fascia

The word "fascia" means bandage - a fitting analogy as the tissue called fascia takes the form of sheets or broad bands of fibrous connective tissue that cover muscles or organs, forming an outer-wrapping.

There are two types of fascia: (1) Superficial Fascia, and (2) Deep Fascia.

Superficial fascia consists of areolar connective tissue and adipose tissue, and may also be referred to as the "subcutaneous layer" of the skin. Deep Fascia is more relevant to the study of muscle structures because it is deep fascia that holds the muscles together. It consists of dense fibrous connective tissue.

Skeletal Muscle
(="Voluntary" Muscle)

The type of muscle that causes movement of the skeletal system (especially limbs), and of skin in the cases of the muscles of facial expression in the head and neck area has many names. These include "skeletal muscle" (because it moves bones), "voluntary muscle" (because it is usually under conscious control), and "striated muscle" (because they have a striped appearance).

Perimysium

Perimysium is a fibrous sheath that surrounds and protects bundles of muscle fibres.
(It is shown as thin pale grey lines in the cross-section of skeletal muscle illustrated above.)

Epimysium

Epimysium is fibrous elastic tissue that surrounds muscle.

There are usually many muscle fascicles that form a single muscle.
Epimysium surrounds the total bundle of many fascicles - as compared with perimysium (the fibrous sheath that surrounds and protects individual fascicles, filling the spaces between the fascicles within the bundle of fascicles that forms the muscle itself), and endomysium (the fine connective tissue that surrounds and protects each individual muscle fibre - also known as a "muscle cell", hence filling the spaces between muscle fibres within each muscle fascicle).

Fascicle

The term fascicle (sometimes expressed as a "fasciculus"), refers to a "bundle", such as a bundle of muscle fibres e.g. as illustrated above, or alternatively a bundle of nerve fibres.

Endomysium

Endomysium is the name of the fine connective tissue sheath that surrounds/covers each single/individual muscle fibre.

Muscle Fibre
(="Muscle Fiber"
= "Muscle Cell")

Muscle fibres also known as "muscle fibers" (American spelling), and "muscle cells" are special cells that are able to contract, thereby causing movement - of other tissues/parts of the body.
There are three types of muscle: striated/skeletal muscle (causing the movement of bones/limbs), smooth muscle (surrounding organs and blood vessels), and cardiac muscle (forming the walls of the heart).

Myofibril

Myofibrils are small contractile filaments located within the cytoplasm of striated muscle cells. These filaments cause the distinctive appearance of skeletal=voluntary=striated muscle because they consist of bands of alternating high and low refractive index.
This gives the muscles their striped appearance

To continue reading about the structure of muscle, go to the more detailed page about the structure of a muscle cell.

Bookmark and Share

... End of Page ...
See related pages listed top-left or visit the Human Body Index.


Follow IvyRose Holistic on Twitter.

Terms of Use

Facial Muscles

Also on this website: Home Health News Anatomy & Physiology Chemistry The Eye Vitamins & Minerals Glossary Books Articles Therapies