The hipbone’s connected to the leg bone…
A joint is a part of our bodies that connects two or more of our bones. Special tissues (not the kind you use to blow your nose!) called ligaments, connect the bones, and our muscles hold everything together.
There are many different types of joints. Ball-and-socket joints, which make up our shoulder and hip joints, are made of a bone with a rounded end that sits inside another bone with a cup-shaped opening. This type of joint lets us swing our arms around!
Hinge joints, like our knee and elbow joints, let us bend and unbend parts of our bodies.
Pivot joints, like the one between our neck and our skull allow for a little bit of twisting. Because of this joint, we can shake our heads “no.”
Ellipsoidal joints, like the wrist joint, allow for many types of movement, but they don't pivot and they don't have the same rotating range as a ball-and-socket joint. Think of all the motions you can make with your wrist.
Some joints don’t allow for any movement. The bones that make up our skulls are a good example of this.
ExplorationThe Incredible Bending Body
Every time you move your body, you are using your joints. If it were not for our joints, we’d just be stiff skeletons with no way to move around.
Try doing some jumping jacks. Which joints in your body are you using to make those movements? Try doing a pushup. What joints are you using now? Try dancing! What joints do you need to dance?
There are lots of joints in your body! All of our bones connect to each other, except for one. This special exception is called the hyoid bone and it sits all alone in our necks, right below our tongues.
Sources & links
"joint." Encyclopædia Britannica. 2009. Encyclopædia Britannica Online. 17 Oct. 2009. "hyoid bone." Encyclopædia Britannica. 2009. Encyclopædia Britannica Online. 17 Oct. 2009. “Anatomy of a Joint.” Columbia University Medical Center: Department of Rehabilitation and Regenerative Medicine. 17 October 2009. “Facial Bones.” Medical Look Human Anatomy. 2009. Medical-Look.com. 17 October 2009.