Muscles consist of tissue that can contract powerfully to move the body, maintain its posture, and work the various internal organs, including the heart and blood vessels. These functions are performed by three different types of muscle, of which skeletal muscle makes up the greatest bulk. (Many of the body’s skeletal muscles are identified, image here.) Usually each end of a skeletal muscle is attached to a bone by a tendon, a flexible cord of fibrous tissue. The skeletal muscles may be controlled consciously to produce movement.
Types of muscle
The three types of muscle are skeletal muscle, which covers and moves the skeleton; cardiac (heart) muscle, which pumps blood around the body; and smooth muscle, which is found in the walls of the digestive tract, blood vessels, and the genital and urinary tracts. Smooth muscle performs the unconscious actions of the body, such as propelling food along the digestive tract.
From the 2010 revision of the Complete Home Medical Guide © Dorling Kindersley Limited.
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