Anatomy and Physiology: The Joints

The Joints

Now that you've learned all 206 bones, it's time to get a handle on how they are physically put together. A joint is, quite simply, the junction between two bones. Some people automatically think about movement here, but if you think about furniture, the place where two fixed pieces of wood join is also called a joint (remember, the word join is the root of the word joint). Joints are classified based on the range of motion possible, from a fixed joint to the most highly flexible joint known as a ball-and-socket joint.

There are also names for the incredibly wide range of motions that are possible in the body. You will find that these movements, like the directional terms, are also found in pairs (as are the muscles, as you will see in The Blood). Also like the directional terms, you will find these movement terms important in the naming of muscles.

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Excerpted from The Complete Idiot's Guide to Anatomy and Physiology © 2004 by Michael J. Vieira Lazaroff. All rights reserved including the right of reproduction in whole or in part in any form. Used by arrangement with Alpha Books, a member of Penguin Group (USA) Inc.

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