What Does Muscle Tissue Do?

In order for the body to produce movement, there needs to be a mechanism that allows it. And that's precisely the role that muscle tissue fills in your body.
What Does Muscle Tissue Do?

Last update: 21 February, 2020

Lots of people who are passionate about physical activity never really consider how muscles do their job. In this article, we’re going to get into the role of muscle tissue and how it works.

What is muscle tissue and what does it do?

Muscle tissue is the mechanism that makes it possible for the body to produce muscle contraction. It’s composed of cells that contract or relax depending on the type of stimulation they’re submitted to.

Functions of muscle tissue

  • Muscle tissue is in charge of movement: movement is produced by the alternate contracting and relaxing of the muscle system. You can see this in the movements you carry out every day. For example, it comes into play when you run or even when you touch an object.
  • This tissue functions as an important stabilizer of your body position: at the same time, it works to regulate your balance and motor control. It’s always playing a role in keeping your body straight and upright.
  • It facilitates the transportation of substances throughout the body. Your body can move and transport substances that are indispensable to human life.
  • It regulates the volume of the organs.
  • It works to generate heat: this keeps your body temperature stable and, by extension, supports homeostasis.

Characteristics of this tissue

Muscle tissue has certain qualities that make it different from other types of tissue. First of all, the muscle has the capacity to be stimulated and respond to certain stimuli. Some examples of such stimuli might be changes in lighting, pressure, or even in the heat.

A couple jogging on the pavement which involves muscle tissue.

Muscles also have four different properties:

  1. Contractibility: the muscle can generate tension after shrinking.
  2. Elasticity: a muscle can recover its length after contracting.
  3. Extensibility: muscles can stretch themselves without suffering damage or injury.
  4. Electric excitability: the muscles and neurons can respond to electrical stimuli.

On the other hand, a very important factor is that the muscles are mostly composed of water. In fact, they’re 80 percent water. That means they have a key role in muscle contraction.

The legs of a couple jogging in the dirt.

With regard to the proteins that the tissue contains, their most important quality is that they’re contractible. That’s why this tissue is so effective at muscular contraction.

What types of muscle tissue are there?

There are three types of muscle tissue. The fundamental differences among them are their locations and the characteristics of the cells they’re made of.

  • Smooth muscle tissue: you can find this on the walls of the internal organs. They’re also located in the respiratory tract and in the blood vessels.
  • Cardiac muscle tissue: you could say that this is the most important type of muscle tissue. That’s because it’s located in the heart and it’s involved with this organ’s involuntary movement.
  • Skeletal muscle tissue: located in the muscles that surround the skeletal system. Its importance lies in the fact that this type of tissue has the job of moving the bone structures of your body. The muscles act both voluntarily and involuntarily. That’s to say, both contraction and relaxation.

As you can see from this article, muscle tissue is key for the body. It’s essential for not only the muscles but for the body as a whole to function smoothly. Knowing the role that human movement plays can be very helpful to you. That’s especially true if you ever have a reason to deal with any problems that may arise.

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  • Lieber RL, Fridén J. Functional and clinical significance of skeletal muscle architecture. Muscle Nerve. 2000;23:1647–1666.

The contents of this publication are written for informational purposes. At no time do they facilitate or replace the diagnoses, treatments, or recommendations of a professional. Consult your trusted specialist if you have any doubts and seek their approval before beginning any procedure.