Chapter 8- Muscles, Bones and Movement

A summary of the 8th Chapter- muscles, bones and joints of the AQA GCSE Human Health and Physiology textbook

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  • Created by: R_Hall
  • Created on: 14-06-12 11:05

8.1 Bones, muscles and joints

  • The human skeleton has several functions- gives shape, gives support, protects softer organs, enables us to move (an attachment point for muscles) and bone marrow produces blood cells
  • Bones contain living cells which make hard bone when incorporating minerals (eg. calcium salts)
  • Ligaments are strong bands of slightly elastic connective tissue which hold bones together
  • Cartilage cover the ends of bones, smooth to reduce friction and a shock absorber
  • Synovial fluid reduces friction by lubricating the joint
  • Muscles are attached to bones with tough tendons.
  • Muscles work in antagonistic pairs. When one muscle (the flexor) contracts, the other (the extensor) must relax
  • A muscle is either contracted or relaxed, but most muscles have cells which are contracted to maintain the body posture. Muscle tone is the amount of tension
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8.2 Skeletal health

  • Good posture means that bones are in the correct position, and so are the internal organs. Poor posture can lead to back pain
  • A slipped (or prolapsed) disc is when the cartilage between vertebrae bulges out and presses on a nerve, and causes pain
  • Physiotherapists assess and treat people with restricted movement, chiropractors (and osteopaths) use hands to manipulate joints and muscles
  • Sprains are damage to ligaments, usually due to overstretching and tearing fibres in sport. It may cause bones to dislocate
  • Fractures are damage to bones, due to accident or osteoporosis (a degenerative condition where to little bone is made or it is lost)
  • Strains are damage to muscles due to tearing and stretching
  • Tendons can become inflamed due to overuse, or ill-fitting trainers
  • Cartilage can be damaged suddenly or by wear and tear, osteoarthritis can be caused by cartilage damage
  • Keyhole surgery (where tiny incisions are made) is used by orthopaedic surgeons to repair damaged joints, as it aids speedy recovery, as it reduces damage to surrounding tissues
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