Fascia (pl. fasciae) is thickened connective tissue that envelops a muscle or a group of muscles.

The word "fascia" means bandage, which is appropriate because 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 refered 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.

Fascia should not be confused with other layers of connective tissue located in the structure of muscles.

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") covers the entire muscle and is located over the 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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