Skeletal joints


There are 3 basic types of joints in the human skeletal structure. They are classified as fibrous joints, cartilaginous joints, and synovial joints. Joints are defined anatomically as the conjuncture between two bones, the meeting place in a less strict definition. Fibrous joints are bound together by fibrous tissue which connects from each opposing side of the joint. Cartilage binds the joints defined as cartilaginous joints. And of course synovial joints are determined by their structure as free moving joints lubricated with synovial fluid.


The skeletal system has numerous responsibilities, one of which is to allow the body ambulation throughout its environment without assistance. The bones provide the structure of the skeleton while the joints are responsible for its ability, or lack thereof, to move about freely. Joints are also referred to as articulations. Joints are a member of the skeletal system, but they are complex and require a vast amount of knowledge to understand them in health and an even greater understanding to fix them when they are in poor health.

Direction of movement as well as the range of motion that a joint permits the skeleton is determined entirely on its structural basis. Flexibility between various joints vary greatly, and in certain forms of movement, some joints may need to become stiff while other joints are in full swing. This cohesive action between the joints allows for stability as well as balance. All joint action is required for all movement, such as walking and writing require the joints to provide equal cohesiveness as sports, simply at a different rate of speed.


Skeletal Joints
Image: Skeletal Joints

The study of joints is scientifically known as anthrology. Kinesiology varies from anthrology, as it is the applied studies of motion while anthrology is the study of joints, their structure, their functions, and the determinations in creating variation in the event of a dysfunction. Kinesiology deals more with the relationship between the muscles and the joints and the mechanics associated with human motion.

Human motion is created through cohesive actions of muscle, blood flow, joint motion, air flow, oxygenation, and other elemental bodily systems which must work as a unit in order to provide the structure of motion desired.

Each joints structure provides basic adapted pros and cons within each basic type of joint. While some joints provide ample motion they are more prone to dysfunction. Discerning the joint types and their relationship to the body is the first basic step to understanding the process which is skeletal motion.


Fibrous joints are held fast by connective tissue which can be described as fibrous. They are devoid of joint cavities. Cartilaginous joints are also devoid of joints cavities and use cartilage as their basic form of securing the joints together. Synovial joints can often be capped with cartilage or assisted by ligaments or tendons, but are free moving joints that are distinguished by their joint cavities which are filled with synovial fluids.

Classifying each joint is also determined by its ability to perform certain basic functions. Immovable joints are classified as synarthroses. Amphiarthyroses refers to joints which care considered only slightly moveable. Diarthroses means the joint is free moving.Structural classification is more common than functional classification. These joints follow the guidelines set forth in the sixth edition of Nomina Anatomica.
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