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Posted on 02-05-2016

We've all heard the phrase "musculoskeletal system", but we might not know all of the parts or what they do for us. In addition to the muscles and skeleton referenced in the name, other connective tissues play an important role. Some of those other tissues include tendons, ligaments and fascia.

In the next couple of minutes, we're going to try to give you a basic understanding of your musculoskeletal system. We will start with the skeleton, as it serves as the framework for everything else.

While some people have more or less, most people of 206 bones in their skeleton. They range in size from the tiny ossicles (little bones) of the ear to the femur, or thigh bone, which is the largest bone in the human body. Many people do not know that the bones are living organs, with their own blood and nerve supply. Bones are vital for all movement, as the muscles pull across the joints. Bones also provide protection for internal organs (skull and rib cage), are hemopoietic (blood producing) and serve as storage for minerals, including calcium, magnesium and sodium.

Skeletal muscles attach to the skeleton and provide all of our movements and help us maintain posture. Even when you are standing or sitting still, your skeletal muscles are hard at work, making microadjustments to keep you erect. Each muscle group is wrapped in fascia, a thin gelatinous sheath, which helps the muscle hold its discrete shape and glide across other structures.

Two other vital structures in the musculoskeletal system include ligaments and tendons. Ligaments serve to attach bone to bone. You may have heard of the ACL (anterior cruciate ligament) and PCL (posterior cruciate ligament). These are two of the many ligaments that join the femur (thigh bone) to the tibia (shin bone). When these become loose or damaged, the knee loses much of its stability.

Tendons attach muscle to bone. Each muscle group ends with a ligament, which attaches the muscle to its origin, on the fixed side of the joint, and its insertion, on the part of the joint that is going to move. An example of this is the biceps, which originates near the shoulder on the humerus (upper arm bone) and the scapula (shoulder blade) and inserts shortly past the elbow on the radius. When the biceps contracts, it shortens, pulling the forearm toward the shoulder.

The musculoskeletal system is yet another of the miraculous systems of the human body. When something is out of alignment anywhere in the system, it causes pain and dysfunction. We here at Lexington Chiropractic understand. We are here to help you bring your body and your life back into alignment. To find out more about how chiropractic manipulation might help you with your pain, please contact us.

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