The Joint Structure, Function and Movement

First things first, joints are where two or more bones meet, which are classified according the movement that takes place.

Lets get your ligaments and tendons out of the way. There is a big difference when it come to ligaments and tendons. Your ligaments are what connect your bones to each other across all joints and your tendons are what connect your muscle to the bone.

There are 3 different types of major joints, your Synarthrodial Joints, Amphiarthrodial Joints and your Diarthrodial (synovial) Joints.

Synarthrodial Joints: (the lines of junction of your skull bones are a prime example of the Synarthrodial Joint) they are immovable and are bound together by fibrous tissue that is continuous (attached together in repeated units) with the periosteum.

Periosteum-The dense fibrous membrane covering the surface of bones except at the joints and serving as an attachment for muscles and tendons

Picture found HERE

Amphiarthrodial Joints: These joints only allow a small amount of movement (some more movable than others). These joints are often separated by and disc, which deforms with movement. Some great examples are the tibiofibular, sacroiliac and vertebral joints.

Picture found HERE

Diarthrodial (synovial) Joints: Diarthrodial Joints are your most common joints, they are freely moveable and with great range. Most of your joints that you use during physical activity will be your synovial joints. They are also enclosed by your capsules. Some characteristics of the Synovial Joints are the articulating surfaces of the bones are covered by articular cartilage which reduces friction and contributes to shock absorption between the bones. Your Menisci which is the C-shaped discs between the femur and tibia and reduce friction and provide a shock absorption and Bursae which are sacs of synovial fluid that lay between muscle and bone that are found in your shoulder, hip, elbow and knee. The Bursae reduces the friction and provide a shock absorption.

Picture found HERE

The direction and range of motion of joints is primarily determined by the shape of the bones such as the ball and socket allows for a wide rang and direction and the hinge joints are more limited in direction and ROM (range of motion).

When referring the joint movement you should always be in anatomical position and relate to movement within the planes and about axes.

As shown in previous post HERE their are specific joint movement!

  • Flexion and Extension
  • Abduction and Adduction
  • Internal Rotation and External Rotation.



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