Skeletal system

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  • Skeletal system
    • Vertebral column
      • The vertebral column is divided into five main sections and each contains a specific number of vertebrae.
      • There are 33 vertebrae in total – the upper 24 vertebrae are articulating and separated from each other..
      • The lower nine vertebrae are fused – the sacrum consists of five fused vertebrae and the coccyx is made up of four fused together.
    • Functions of the skeletal system
      • Movement
        • the skeleton allows movement of the body as a whole and its individual parts.
          • The bones act as levers and also form joints that allow muscles to pull on them and produce joint movements.
      • Support and protection
        • the bones of the skeleton provide support for the body and also protect the organs found within it.
          • For example, the cranium protects the brain, the ribs offer protection to the heart and lungs.
            • the vertebrae protect the spinal cord and the pelvis offers protection to the sensitive reproductive organs.
      • Production of blood cells
        • certain bones in the skeleton contain red bone marrow and the bone marrow produces red blood cells, white blood cells and platelets.
          • Examples of bones that contain marrow are the pelvis, sternum, vertebrae and clavicle.
      • Storage of minerals
        • the bones themselves are made of minerals and act as a mineral store for calcium and phosphorous, which can be given up if the body requires the minerals for other functions.
      • Attachment of muscles
        • the bones of the skeleton provide surfaces for the attachment of muscles.
          • This is why bones are often irregular shapes and have bony points and grooves to provide attachment points.
    • Joints
      • A joint is a place where two or more bones meet and is also called an articulation.
    • The role of joints and connective tissue
      • Connective tissues consist of ligaments, cartilage and tendons.
      • A joint is held together by ligaments which give the joints their stability.
      • Cartilage is found at the ends of bones and where joints meet.
      • Tendons attach muscles to the skeleton.
    • Muscular system
      • The muscular system works in conjunction with the skeleton to produce movement of the limbs and body.
    • Ligaments and tendons are two main types of connective tissues that help the muscular-skeletal system produce movements.
      • Ligaments
        • attach bone to bone
        • act to give stability to joints
        • are tough, white and inelastic
      • Tendons
        • attach muscle to bone
        • carry the force from muscle contraction to the bone
        • are tough, greyish and inelastic
      • The muscles contract to pull on the bones to produce movements. Joints are able to move in a variety of directions to allow us to perform a range of sporting movements.


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