Joints – What Do They Do?

We have joints in places we did not even know possible. There are over 200 joints in the body and most of us think joints are areas of movement. That is not necessarily the case; joints are simply areas where two or more bones meet. There are three different types of joints, and their function is based on their structure. Joints are important for the body and help with both movement and support.

Everybody has joints, and everybody needs joints. You are familiar with knee joints, hip joints, and maybe even the elbow and ankle joints. There are also joints in the wrist, skull, and spine. Joints are characterized as immovable, slightly movable, and movable. The freely movable joints are divided into five different categories.

  • Ball-and-Socket JointsThese are larger joints in the body where the end of one joint is round, and the end of the other joint is cupped. This allows the joints to fit together like a glove. The joint can move in all different directions. The hips, shoulders, and hinge joints are all ball-and-socket.
  • Hinge Joints Hinge joints are large and include the knee and elbow. This kind of joint can move in backward and forwards movement.
  • Saddle Joints There are only two saddle joints in the body – the thumbs! The saddle joint gets its name from the way it looks. One end of the bone looks like a saddle while the other end of the bone fits into position. This joint allows the thumb to move side to side, which is important in grabbing on to things.
  • Ellipsoidal JointsEllipsoidal joints allow you to move parts of the body at an angle, such as in the hands and feet.
  • Pivot JointsPivot joints are all about rotation. They can twist back and forth but they cannot turn 360 degrees. The neck and forearm are pivot joints as they can only turn so far to the left and the right. If you can turn your head 360 degrees, you and everyone else would be totally freaked out.

The joints in the spine and skull are mostly for stability as they do not have a lot of movement. Joints stay connected through ligaments and tendons. It is because of these structures; your joints do not just fall apart. The joints are susceptible to disease, and although they are very helpful, they can be very painful. Arthritis is one disease that specifically attacks joints and can be a nightmare for you.

When you are dealing with this persistent pain, you may find that a joint replacement is necessary.

Joints are necessary for everyday life. Their primary purpose is movement and stability. They are important for keeping our bodies working properly. Joint pain can greatly limit your mobility. It is diseases like Arthritis that damage these joints and hinder their function. Try not to be too hard on your joints. If you start experiencing any pain or soreness, be sure to talk to a doctor and get the treatment you need.