Definition: A joint (articulation) is point of contact between bones or between bone and cartilage.
Part A - Joint Classifications
Joints are classified by:
The three types of joints that we will look at are:
These joints are also called "fixed" or "immoveable" joints, because they do not move. These joints have no joint cavity and are connected via fibrous connective tissue. The skull bones are connected by fibrous joints.
These joints also have no joint cavity and the bones are connected tightly to each other with cartilage. These joints only allow a small amount of movement, so are also called "partly" or "slightly moveable" joints. The vertebrae are examples of cartilaginous joints.
Most of the joints in the body are synovial joints. These joints are "freely moveable" and are characterised by being surrounded by an articular capsule which contains the synovial fluid. Synovial fluid lubricates the joints, supplies nutrients to the cartilage and it contains cells that remove microbes and debris within the joint cavity. Because of the larger range of movements of these joints, there is an increased risk of injury eg dislocations. Synovial joints are located predominantly in limbs.
Many synovial joints also have ligaments either inside or outside the capsule.
The range of movement provided by these joints is determined by:
Different Types of Synovial Joints
Ligaments connect bone to bone - ligament - tough regularly arranged connective tissue, slightly elastic.
Exercise - long term effects on joints:
There is a nice little quiz to help you learn all this here.