One of the most important and complex structures in your body is the skeleton. Bones are thought to be hard and lifeless. But in fact, they are made of active, living cells that are capable of growing, repairing, and communicating with other parts of your body. Let’s take a closer look at what your bones can do and how they do it.
Determination of shape
The shape and structure of our skeleton are decided by a variety of factors: genetic, metabolic and mechanical factor. Our bones development started in our mother’s womb before we were born. Metabolic factors are also important. Substances such as calcium, phosphorous, vitamins A, C, and D and the secretions of the pituitary, thyroid, parathyroid adrenals and gonads are involved in the shaping of our bones. Even after birth, these substances continue to play an important part in making new bones. Lacking vitamin D and calcium, in particular, can lead to many bone diseases such as rickets and low bone mass, making the bone break easily. Our bones are shaped by our movement and the needs of our body.
Like a pillar of a house, you need strong bones to support the rest of your body and to protect your organs. Without bones, it would be hard to keep yourself upright. The bones of the upper and lower limbs act as levers to help you move, push and pull with help of muscles.
Your bone act as storage for fat and many important minerals so they are available when your body needs them. In fact, 97% of the body’s calcium is stored in bone. The bones provide an easy access warehouse for the minerals to be taken and moved to the blood stream to get to the other parts of your body when needed.
Bones protect your body from fracture. They form a strong layer around organs in the body. The bones are needed sometimes needed for organ function as well. For example, to breath you need to use your ribs. The rib cage acts as a shield to protect your lungs and heart.
Bones are considered as a marrow holder. They play a crucial part in making blood cells. Stem cells that are used to make red and white blood cells are found mostly in the bone marrow.
Classification of bones
The skeleton is made up of many bones which make up a variety of shapes, functions, locations, lengths and weights. The easiest way to classify bones is by their shape, which includes 5 kinds:
Long bones are typical bones for the limbs. You can guess from the name that long bones are bones that are longer than they are wide. Because they are often found in the limbs, they are perfect for providing strength, structure, and mobility. The inner part of long bones are quite spongy despite the hard exterior. These spongy bones contain many of yellow bone marrow and red bone marrow, which are able to produce blood cells.
The long bones include the femora, tibiae and fibulae of the legs, the humeri, radii, and ulnae of the arms; metacarpals and metatarsals of the hands and feet, the phalanges of the fingers and toes, and the clavicles or collar bones. A long bone has a shaft and two ends.
Short bones are as wide as they are long. They are shaped like a cube that made up the joints in the skeleton. Interestingly, as you grow, the size of these bones doesn’t change much compare to long bones. They are made of a layer of the hard outer shell and mostly are spongy bones. Their function is to provide support and stability to our movements.
Short bones are found in the wrist and ankle, carpals and tarsals.
Flat bones are strong, hard and flat plates of bone. They are made up of a layer of spongy bone with two thin layers of compact bone. Flat bones are places of the highest number of red blood cells formed.
You can easily find flat bones in your shoulder blade, breastbone, skull and hipbone. Irregular bones
Bones, which do not belong to any category, are listed as irregular bones. Irregular bones are usually served as protection of nervous tissues, maintaining pharynx support, tongue attachment, etc.
Good examples of irregular bones are vertebrae and lower jaw. The spine is where irregular bones are mostly found, in which there are 33 irregular bones.
Sesamoid bones are usually embedded in tendon or muscles. These bones give support to the tendon, especially where a tendon is easily exposed to friction, such as knee cap, hands, and the wrists. The main function of sesamoid is to protect the tendon.
Now you understand your bones, you can better understand and manage your pain.
Hello Health Group does not provide medical advice, diagnose or treatment.
Review Date: January 4, 2017 | Last Modified: January 4, 2017
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