Joints: Where Bones Connect and Move

An error occurred trying to load this video.

Try refreshing the page, or contact customer support.

Coming up next: Fibrous Connective Tissue: Function & Types

You're on a roll. Keep up the good work!

Take Quiz Watch Next Lesson
 Replay
Your next lesson will play in 10 seconds
  • 0:01 Joints
  • 0:48 Immovable Joints
  • 1:29 Slightly Movable Joints
  • 2:04 Freely Movable Joints
  • 4:28 Lesson Summary
Add to Add to Add to

Want to watch this again later?

Log in or sign up to add this lesson to a Custom Course.

Login or Sign up

Timeline
Autoplay
Autoplay
Lesson Transcript
Instructor: Rebecca Gillaspy

Dr. Gillaspy has taught health science at University of Phoenix and Ashford University and has a degree from Palmer College of Chiropractic.

If you didn't have any joints, you wouldn't be able bend down to tie your shoes or throw a ball. Joints are found where the bones of your skeleton meet. Learn about the different types of joints and how they differ in how much they let you move.

Joints

Inside of you, there are 206 bones that make up your skeleton. These bones act like the frame of a house, allowing you to stand tall. Without them, you would collapse in a heap of soft tissues and have to slither along the ground like a worm. You are able to bend your bony skeleton thanks to joints, which are the areas where bones connect. Without them, you would be able to stand, but you would have to waddle around stiff-legged to get anywhere. Every bone in your body is connected to another bone by a joint, except for one lonely bone found in your neck. I'll tell you the name of that bone and what it does, but you'll have to wait till the end of the lesson.

Immovable Joints

Your joints differ in the amount of movement they allow. In fact, there are some joints that don't move at all. A perfect example is the immovable joints that hold the individual bones of your skull together. Inside your head, these bones are fused tightly together to protect your brain from getting hurt. But, when you were first born, these joints were not fused; this allowed the bones to flex during birth and made room for your big brain to grow. Did you ever feel the soft spot on a baby's head? At the top of babies' heads is an area that feels soft to the touch. This is part of a joint that has not yet fused, and while it might seem like a place prone to injury, it's actually made of a fairly tough fibrous tissue.

Slightly Movable Joints

You have other joints that allow partial movement called slightly movable joints. A great example is the joints of your spine. The individual bones of your spine, called vertebrae, are connected, and they move in relation to one another, kind of like the cars on a moving train. When you bend over to tie your shoes or twist at your waist, each vertebrae in your back moves a little bit allowing for an overall big movement.

Freely Movable Joints

You also have joints that allow a lot of movement called freely moveable joints. These joints are found mostly in your limbs, which makes sense because movement is really important in these areas of you. Freely movable joints contain synovial fluid, which is a fluid that acts as a lubricant. In fact, this fluid is so important that any joint with this fluid, including a few in your spine, is referred to as a synovial joint. The lubricating fluid helps keep your joints healthy and reduces friction when you are doing repetitive things like pitching nine innings of a baseball game or running long distances.

You have three types of freely movable joints. The ball and socket joints of your shoulders and hips are the most freely movable. The two bones that make up these joints have a funny shape; one is rounded, like a ball and the other is cupped like a baseball glove, or socket. This unique connection allows you to move your shoulder and hip up, down, around and in all kinds of directions.

Another type of freely movable joint is the hinge joints. These only move in one direction, just like the hinge on a door. Can you guess where they are located? If you guessed your elbows and knees, you are correct.

To unlock this lesson you must be a Study.com Member.
Create your account

Register for a free trial

Are you a student or a teacher?

Unlock Your Education

See for yourself why 30 million people use Study.com

Become a Study.com member and start learning now.
Become a Member  Back
What teachers are saying about Study.com
Free 5-day trial

Earning College Credit

Did you know… We have over 160 college courses that prepare you to earn credit by exam that is accepted by over 1,500 colleges and universities. You can test out of the first two years of college and save thousands off your degree. Anyone can earn credit-by-exam regardless of age or education level.

To learn more, visit our Earning Credit Page

Transferring credit to the school of your choice

Not sure what college you want to attend yet? Study.com has thousands of articles about every imaginable degree, area of study and career path that can help you find the school that's right for you.

Create an account to start this course today
Try it free for 5 days!
Create An Account
Support