Connective tissues are tissues that connects, binds, supports or separates other organs or tissues. The surround each body muscle and may offer protection past the end of its muscle fibers to come up with a cord-like tendon. Connective tissues comprise of two basic elements, the matrix consisting of ground substance and fibers and the cells. They are widely distributed and the most abundant of the body tissues. Muscles are composed of nerves, fibers and connective tissues. They account for more than 40% of the total body weight. Contraction of the muscles produces tension on the associated tendons or tissues (MacIntosh, Gardiner, and McComas, 9).
According to Premkumar (2004), connective tissues are responsible for providing and maintaining the body form by providing the matrix that gives support to the body by connecting and binding the cells and organs. The tissues bins together, strengthens, supports and insulates body muscles and also they perform the role of storing energy. Matrix in connective tissues can be in different forms such as calcified, fibrous, semifluid or gelatinous.
Muscles are responsible for the alternating contraction and relation of the body while in motion. Conversion of chemical energy into mechanical energy used in several body processes and activities is the key function of muscles. There are three types of muscles, the smooth muscles, cardiac muscles and the skeletal muscles. Some of the muscle tissues is a motion to produce body movements, heat productions, body stabilization, and regulation of organ volume. Muscle tissues are characterized by elasticity; ability to return to their original shape after extension or contraction, contractility; ability to thicken and shorten as result generating force, excitability; ability to receive and respond to specific stimuli and extensibility; ability to stretch without affecting tissues (Premkumar 176).
Each single body muscle is separated from its neighbor muscles and held in place by fibrous connective tissues layers called fascia. The fibers that are contained in the tendon intertwine to firmly attach the muscle fibers to the bone. Also in other different cases, a particular fascia muscle may form a wide, fibrous sheets called aponeuroses. The aponeuroses can be attached to the coverings of neighboring muscles. Epimysium is a fascia layer that closely surrounds a skeletal muscle. There are also other layers such as the Perimysium. This layers extend inward spurring from the skeletal muscles (MacIntosh, Gardiner, and McComas 9). They separate the tissue into fascicles. Fascicles are small compartments that contain bundles of fiber muscles.
A layer of fascia surrounds each muscle fiber within a fascicle. The layer is a thin and delicate covering. The parts of the skeletal muscle can move independently because they are wrapped in a thin form of a fascia layer. There are several blood vessels and nerves passing through the fascia layers of connective tissue also. A single cell of muscle is represented by a skeletal muscle fiber. The fiber contracts and relaxes when responding to any form of stimulation. A single skeletal muscle fiber contains a thin and longish cylinder with the ends rounded and attached to the specific fascia of the muscle. The fiber contains numerous threadlike myofibrils just underneath the sarcolemma or the cell membrane. The myofibrils lie alongside each other. The myofibrils are involved significantly in the muscle contraction process (Premkumar 176).
The complete network of fascia extending throughout the body is comprised of the fascia that is associated with the specific and single organs of the muscular system forming part of the network. Deep fascia is the part of the complete network penetrating and surrounding the muscles. It contains subcutaneous fascia that is continuous and forms the fascia covering organs in different cavities within the body including the cavities themselves (MacIntosh, Gardiner, and McComas 9).
- MacIntosh, Brian, Gardiner, Phillip, and McComas, Alan. Skeletal Muscle: Form and Function. Human Kinetics, 2006. Print.
- Premkumar, Kalyani. The Massage Connection: Anatomy and Physiology. Lippincott Williams & Wilkins, 2004. Print.