10 Differences Between striated unstriated and cardiac muscles


Muscles play a vital role in the movement and functioning of our bodies. We have three types of muscles: striated, unstriated (smooth), and cardiac muscles. Each type has its own unique characteristics and functions. In this article, we will explore the differences between these muscles and their uses.

What are Striated (Skeletal) Muscles?

Striated muscles, also known as skeletal muscles, are responsible for the voluntary movement of our body. They are called striated muscles because they appear striped or striated under a microscope due to their organized arrangement of protein fibers. These muscles are attached to our skeleton and are under our conscious control.

Examples of Striated Muscles

Some examples of striated muscles include biceps, triceps, quadriceps, pectoral muscles, and the muscles of the back.

Uses of Striated Muscles

Striated muscles enable us to perform various physical activities, such as walking, running, lifting objects, and playing sports. They provide strength, stability, and coordination to our movements.

What are Unstriated (Smooth) Muscles?

Unstriated muscles, also known as smooth muscles, are involuntary muscles found in the walls of organs, blood vessels, and other structures in our body. They are called smooth muscles because their appearance is smooth and lacks the visible stripes observed in striated muscles.

Examples of Smooth Muscles

Some examples of smooth muscles include the muscles in the digestive system, blood vessels, airways, bladder, and uterus.

Uses of Unstriated Muscles

Smooth muscles perform various essential functions in our body. They help in the movement of food along the digestive tract, regulate blood flow, control airway diameter, aid in childbirth, and maintain bladder control.

What are Cardiac Muscles?

Cardiac muscles are the specialized muscles found exclusively in the heart. These muscles are involuntary and responsible for the continuous pumping of blood throughout the body. Cardiac muscles are striated like skeletal muscles but differ in their structure and function.

Examples of Cardiac Muscles

Cardiac muscles are found only in the heart and make up its walls.

Uses of Cardiac Muscles

Cardiac muscles contract and relax rhythmically to pump oxygen-rich blood to various parts of the body. They provide the necessary force for blood circulation, ensuring a continuous supply of oxygen and nutrients to the organs and tissues.

Differences Table

Difference Area Striated (Skeletal) Muscles Unstriated (Smooth) Muscles Cardiac Muscles
Muscle Type Voluntary Involuntary Involuntary
Location Attached to bones In the walls of organs, vessels, etc. Found only in the heart
Appearance Striped or striated Smooth Striped or striated
Conscious Control Under conscious control Not under conscious control Not under conscious control
Function Voluntary movement Movement of organs, vessels, etc. Pumping blood
Structure Long and cylindrical fibers Spindle-shaped fibers Branching fibers connected by intercalated discs
Nucleus Position Multi-nucleated cells Single nucleus in each cell Single nucleus in each cell
Regeneration Capacity Limited regenerative capacity Good regenerative capacity Very limited regenerative capacity
Controlled by Somatic nervous system Autonomic nervous system Autonomic nervous system
Speed of Contraction Fast contraction and relaxation Slow contraction and relaxation Intermediate speed of contraction and relaxation


In conclusion, striated (skeletal), unstriated (smooth), and cardiac muscles differ in terms of their structure, function, control, and location. Striated muscles are voluntary and responsible for conscious movement, while unstriated muscles are involuntary and control the movement of organs. Cardiac muscles are specialized striated muscles present only in the heart and enable continuous blood circulation. Understanding these differences helps us appreciate the complex nature of our musculature and its role in maintaining our bodies’ functionality.

People Also Ask:

Q: What are the main differences between striated, unstriated, and cardiac muscles?
A: The main differences lie in their voluntary or involuntary nature, location, appearance, control, function, structure, regeneration capacity, and speed of contraction.

Q: Can striated muscles regenerate?
A: Striated muscles have limited regenerative capacity, unlike unstriated muscles.

Q: Are smooth muscles striated?
A: No, smooth muscles do not have visible stripes or striations, unlike striated muscles.

Q: How do cardiac muscles differ from other types of muscles?
A: Cardiac muscles are striated like skeletal muscles but differ in their structure, location, and function. They are specialized for continuous, involuntary pumping of blood.

Q: What controls the contraction and relaxation of these muscles?
A: Striated muscles are controlled by the somatic nervous system, while smooth and cardiac muscles are controlled by the autonomic nervous system.

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