Peristalsis is a wave-like movement (motion) that progresses along some of the hollow tubes of the body that have circular and longitudinal muscles, such as the intestines.
Peristalsis happens involuntarily and is induced by distension of the walls of the tube.
How does it work ?
- Immediately behind the distension the circular muscle contracts.
- In front of the distension the circular muscle relaxes, and
the longitudinal muscle contracts
... which pushes forward the contents of the tube.
More about the Digestive System:
This section includes pages about:
- Introduction to the Digestive System
- Terminology about Digestion
- Passage through the alimentary tract
- Component Parts of the Digestive System, incl. Teeth, Stomach, Liver, Small Intestine, Large Intestine
- Chemical Processes in the Digestive System (introductory level)
- Diseases and Disorders of the Digestive System
For further information see also our pages of books about gastroenterology.
- The digestive system (introduction)
- Digestive System Terminology
- Main Stages of the Digestive Process
- Transit through the Alimentary Canal
- Absorption Sites
- Structures of the mouth
- Teeth - as part of the digestive system
- Small Intestine
- Large Intestine
- Digestive System Diseases & Disorders