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Joints

Joints

Author: Nathan Lampson
Description:

This lesson will introduce the three types of joints in the human body and will give examples of each type.

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Tutorial
TERMS TO KNOW
  • Joint

    A structure that is formed by two or more bones joining together; are held together by ligaments, cartilage, or dense-fibrous tissue.

  • Synovial joint

    The most common joint in humans and also the most complex; contains two key characteristics: surrounded by a joint capsule and contains synovial fluid; also the most highly moveable joint in humans.

  • Synovial fluid

    Fluid found within synovial joints to reduce wear and tear and to nourish the structures inside of the joint capsule.

  • Cartilaginous joint

    A joint where two or more bones are held together by a piece of cartilage (example: vertebrae or pubic bones); these joints are slightly moveable.

  • Fibrous joint

    A joint where two or more bones are fused together by tough, fibrous connective tissue (example: skull sutures); this is the least moveable joint of the body.

  • Ligament

    A structure composed of dense irregular connective tissue that holds bones together within synovial joints.

  • Flexion

    A type of movement allowed primarily by synovial joints in which an appendage is able to bend. For example, flexion of the bicep muscle pulls the forearm upward by allowing it to bend at the elbow.

  • Extension

    A type of movement allowed primarily by synovial joints in which an appendage is straightened from a flexed position. For example, extension of the arm from a flexed position will return it to its normal resting position.

  • Abduction

    A type of movement allowed primarily by synovial joints in which an appendage is moved away from the body’s center. Lifting your arm up and away from your side is an example of abduction.

  • Adduction

    A type of movement allowed primarily by synovial joints in which an appendage moves closer to the body’s center. Lowering your arm closer to your side from a lifted position is an example of adduction.

  • Rotation

    A type of movement allowed primarily by synovial joints in which an appendage pivots about its axis. Holding the arm straight out and twisting it on its axis is an example of rotation.

  • Circumduction

    A type of movement allowed primarily by synovial joints in which an appendage moves in a circular motion. Doing arm circles in which the arm moves in a large circular pattern like a windmill is an example of circumduction.

  • Pronation

    A type of movement allowed primarily by synovial joints in which the forearm and palm face downward.

  • Supination

    A type of movement allowed primarily by synovial joints in which the forearm and palm face upward.

  • Tendon

    A tough band of fibrous connective tissue that usually connects muscle to bone.