Epimysium is fibrous elastic tissue that surrounds each muscle. There are usually many fasicles that form a single muscle: Epimysium surrounds the muscle formed by groups of parallel fasciles (see diagram below).

Structure of Epimysium:

Epimysium consists of dense connective tissue. Epimysium (together with the perimysium and endomysium layers of connective tissue) generally extend beyond the fleshy part of the muscle, forming a thick rope-like tendon or a broad, flat sheet-like aponeurosis. Thesse form indirect attachments from muscles to the periosteum of bones or to the connective tissue of other muscles.

Epimysium should not be confused with other layers of connective tissue located in the structure of muscles, such as endomysium or perimysium.

The layers of muscle tissue include:

  • Sarcolemma is the cell membrane that encloses each muscle cell (which is also known as a muscle fibre).
  • Endomysium is connective tissue that wraps each individual muscle fibre.
  • Perimysium is connective tissue that wraps bundles of muscle fibres - the "bundles" being known as fasicles.
  • Epimysium is connective tissue that wraps the whole muscle.
  • Fascia (or "deep fascia") is a layer of thickened connective tissue that covers the entire muscle and is located over the layer of epimysium.

This section consists of short summaries about the structures that form the muscles of the body. This list is not exhaustive but is intended to be appropriate for students of A-Level Human Biology, ITEC courses in massage and related subjects, and other courses in health sciences. For more general information about muscles see the pages about:

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