Structure of the Musculoskeletal System

Structure of the Musculoskeletal System

General Overview

  • The musculoskeletal system comprises the body’s bones, muscles, tendons, ligaments and connective tissues.
  • Its primary functions involve providing structure, facilitating movement, and protecting vital organs.

Bone Structure and Function

  • Bone is a durable connective tissue, mainly composed of calcium phosphate.
  • The human skeleton represents the body’s foundational structure, supporting organs and tissues.
  • Bones facilitate movement through joints and act as levers for muscles.
  • Red and yellow bone marrow, found within bones, are essential for the production of blood cells.
  • Bones function as significant mineral stores, particularly for calcium and phosphorus.

Muscular Structure and Function

  • The muscular system comprises skeletal, smooth and cardiac muscles.
  • Skeletal muscles, also known as striated muscles, create movement by attaching to bones and contracting on command.
  • These muscles are voluntary muscles - you consciously control their movement.
  • Smooth muscles, found in the organs, are involuntary muscles that contract without conscious control.
  • The cardiac muscle, located in the heart, pumps blood throughout the body and similarly functions without conscious control.

Joints, Ligaments and Tendons

  • Joints are where bones meet, permitting various degrees and types of movement.
  • Ligaments are strong, resilient connective tissues that link bones together at joints, aiding stability.
  • Tendons, similarly tough tissues, connect muscles to bones, enabling muscle contractions to move the skeleton.

Connective Tissues

  • Connective tissues, including cartilage and fibrous tissues, support and bind other body tissues and parts.
  • Specialised connective tissue known as cartilage provides a smooth surface for joint movement and is a crucial component of the nose, ears and many body tubes.
  • Fibrous tissues, such as tendons, ligaments, and the various fascias, function largely in a support capacity.