If you have taken up P.E as an option for your G.C.S.E then you will need to get in some revision especially when your exams grow closer so I thought I would do a segment on revision to keep your brains on the ball.

Let's begin with the Skeleton

Our skeleton is a framework of bones/cartilage that gives us our shape.  Combined with muscles the body is able to perform movement.  This movement is performed by the combination of levers and the muscles that operate these levers.  An example of a lever would be your elbow joint and the muscles that contract and relax to create movement.

There are 206 bones in the human skeleton, as you can see in the diagram below which has the main named bones but there are many more.  We will cover the basics so I have included what you will need to know for revision purposes.

As you can see above these are only a handful of bones but are the main ones you will need to know.

So what are the main functions of the human skeleton???  Well let's see:

  • Without the skeleton we would not be able to move.  Obviously muscles are a key element but we'll go through that later :)
  • The structure of the skeleton acts as a protection barrier for your internal organs.
  • Production of red+white blood cells and platelets.
  • Stores calcium and also phosphorus
There are multiple functions of our skeletal system that are overlooked in everyday life.  It is important to remember that without this structure we would be a puddle!

What ties it all together???

There are a few connective tissues that allow us to have freedom of movement to a great extent. 

  • Tendons - these link your muscles to your bones.  White in colour
  • Ligaments - Take tension and link muscle to bone and allow movement whilst keeping the joint stable
  • Cartilage - Firm and also flexible connective tissue which covers the end of the bone and can be located between the joints
As you can see there is a lot more to the skeleton than first thought.  It is an amazing structural design which is very functional and has a great range of movement (ROM)

The Spinal Column

Below you will find a diagram of the spinal column.  You will need to know the names of the different sections, so get your revision in :)

The spinal column is vital to our movement and allows us to stand upright whilst constantly protecting the spinal cord which runs through the spine itself

Joints - these are the points of contact between bones.  They permit a certain type/degree of movement dependant on their place in the body and joint type.  So what are these joints? :

  • Pivot joints - this type of joint will only allow for movement in a single plane of motion.  An example of this joint would be between the radius and ulna (where? well refer back to the diagram and you will see the bones in the forearm)

  • Ball and socket joint - these joints have a large ROM and by this I mean they are greatly moveable and an example would be the shoulder.  If you move your arm you will see you can raise, lower, rotate and so on, making this joint very mobile.  Imagine sticking a pencil in a tennis ball then putting it into a tea cup you can move it freely.
  • Gliding joint - found in areas such as the wrist and feet.  This joint only moves a short distance over each other in a back and fourth/side to side motion.
  • Condyloid joint - examples of this joint would be the finger in the hand.  Permitted movement would be flex, extend, circle motion away and towards the body.
  • Hinge joint - Everyone knows that doors have hinges and the hinge joints of the body work with that similar principal.  One range of motion is possible flex and extend
  • Saddle joint - Can be found in the base of the thumb - this is a great example.  So wiggle your thumb and examine the ROM you get
These joints allow our bodies to move through various planes of motion and so we are able to carry out a host of movements.  The skeleton is an amazing structure that allows you the movements to operate functionally through your day.

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