The skeletal system takes care of many important functions. Most notably it provides the shape and form for the human body and offers protection and support for bodily movements in conjunction with the muscular system. 206 bones make up the framework for the human body and are a core component of the skeltal system. There are four types of bones – long, short, flat and irregular. Each is built from compact (dense) bone or spongy (cancellous) bone, or a combination of the two. Also included in bone composition are inorganic salts such as calcium and phosphorous.

The other main component of the skeletal system is soft tissue such as the tendons, ligaments and cartilage that connect the bones to the rest of the body. A tendon is tough and sinewy. It connects muscle directly to bone. Ligaments are similar to tendons except for the fact that they connect bones directly to other bones. Cartilage works in between the bone and dense connective tissues like tendons and ligaments. It doesn’t contain blood vessels and is found in places such as the rib cage, the ear, bronchial tubes and intervertebral discs.

The human skeleton itself is divided into two main parts, the axial and appendicular skeleton. The axial skeleton consists of bones that comprise the axis of the body and provides protection for the organs in the neck, trunk and head such as the:

  • skull
  • sternum
  • ribs
  • vertebral column

The appendicular skeleton anchors the appendages to the axial skeleton and includes the following:

  • upper extremities
  • lower extremities
  • shoulder girdle
  • pelvic girdle

Without the framework the sleletal system provides, you’d be just skin and tissue. You wouldn’t be able to work or sit. You’d be the consistency of a sticky goo or Jell-O. For example, the cranium keeps your brain and eyes safe from toxins and, of course, injury. The ribs keep your lungs and heart secure so that you can function at your optimal level.


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