Skeletal System

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There are 5 functions:

  • Movement at joints
  • Support for muscles and vital organs
  • Shape for maintaining our basic body shape
  • Protection, such as the skull protecting the brain
  • Blood cell reproduction in the bone marrow
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Joints are a connection point between two or more bones where movement occurs.

There are 3 types of joints:

  • Freely moveable joints (synovial) where boney surfaces are covered by cartilage, connected by ligaments with a joint cavity containing synovial fluid
  • Slightly moveable - vertebrae in the spine
  • Immovable - bones in the skull
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Synovial joints

Most of your joints are freely moveable or synovial joints. They allow different kinds of movement, depending on the shape of the bones at the joint, and the ligaments that hold them together.

Here are the different types:

The ball-and-socket joint e.g. hip, shoulder

The hinge joint e.g. elbow, knee

The pivot joint e.g. wrist, ankle, neck

The saddle joint e.g. thumb

The condyloid joint e.g. wrist

The gliding joint e.g. bones in hand

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Tendons, ligaments and cartilage

Tendons- very strong non-elastic cords that join the muscle to the bone

Ligaments- bands of fibre attatched to the bones that link the joints. They help keep the joints stable

Cartilage- a tough but flexible tissue that acts as a buffer between the bones at joints. When it wears away, problems such as arthritus occur.

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Joint movement

There are five different kinds of movement the joints can allow:

  • Extension- Opening a joint
  • Flexion- Closing a joint
  • Adduction- Moving towards an imaginary centre line
  • Abduction- Moving away from an imaginary centre line
  • Rotation- Turning a limb clockwise or anticlockwise

Circumduction- Complete rotation of the body e.g. forward somersault

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