The Joints: How Many Are There In The Human Body?

Many bodily components, including the limbs, hands, shoulders, elbows, neck, and so forth, move with the assistance of the joints in the body, which function as ball bearings. Let’s examine these joints more closely to see what they can accomplish for us.

Most of us will state that knees, elbows, ankles, and other joints are what we mean when asked what a joint is. 

The Joints: How Many Are There In The Human Body?

While we all have a general understanding as to what joints are, most of the time we struggle to identify joints with regards to their actual purposes – as well as how many there actually are throughout the body.

In order to proceed, let’s first define joints. The locations on the skeleton where 2 or more bones touch are known as joints (see also “What Vitamins Are Good For Bones And Joints?“). These joints not only permit movement but also offer mechanical stability for such movements. 

The numerous types of joints found throughout the human body are divided into groups based on both their structural makeup and their intended uses. Not all joints permit mobility along the point of conjunction, despite the fact that most joints do. 

There are some fixed joints that do not permit any kind of motion along the areas of skeletal contact, such as the joints in the skull. Let’s learn about the various joints that make up the human body.

How Many Joints Are There In The Human Body?

Let’s start by discussing the number of joints overall before moving on to the different categories of joints. 

The average human body contains 230 joints or more! If this figure is compared to that of an adult as opposed to a fetus, there might be some variation. 

You see, a fetus initially has 300 bones, but by the time of birth, the majority of them fuse together. A typical adult has roughly 206 total bones. Returning to the total quantity of joints, the breakdown is as follows:

Number Of Joints In Body Components

  • Thorax: 66
  • Throat and Neck: 6
  • Skull: 86
  • Legs, Feet, and Toes: 62 
  • Spine and Pelvis: 76 
  • Hands, Arms, and Fingers: 64

It is impossible to determine the precise number of joints because the characterization of joints is disputed. The typical amount of joints in a person’s body is thought to be between 200 and 400. 

Age is among the factors that contribute to individual differences in human structure. The number of joints decreases as our body matures because the bones are integrated. 

The neck’s joints are a feature of the spine as well as the thorax, according to the above figures. Therefore, it is not advised to interpret the sum of the aforementioned numbers as the quantity of joints present in the body as a whole.

Structure Of A Joint

Bone, body tissues, and fluid make up joints. Each of these contributes to the joint’s construction and defense. A joint’s parts consist of:

  • Ligaments: the connective tissue that holds the bone together and stabilizes the joint to protect it
  • Tendons: articular cartilage that connects muscles to bones
  • Cartilage: The tissue which covers the surface of the bone and eases joint friction
  • Bursae: Fluid-filled sacs that act as cushions between the bones of a joint and the surrounding muscles and tendons
  • Synovial membrane: The synovial membrane is a tissue that forms the joint capsule’s lining and produces fluid to lubricate a joint when it moves.
  • Meniscus: A curving section of cartilage called a meniscus can be seen in joints such as the knees.

Joint Types In The Body 

Various criteria, including the type of mobility imparted, functions, structure, and others, can be used to categorize joints. Let’s examine these distinct joint types and their several subcategories.

The Joints: How Many Are There In The Human Body?

Joint Classifications Characterized By Movement

The joints are classified by movement as follows: socket and ball joints (hips and shoulders), hinge joints (knees and ulna of elbow), pivot joints (radius of elbow and neck), condyloid joints (fingers and jaw), saddle joints (thumbs), and gliding joints (wrists, spine, ankles). 

Joint Classifications Characterized By Structure

The joints are classified by structure as follows: synovial joints (knee, hip, shoulder, wrist, thumb), cartilaginous joints (symphyses and synchondroses), and fibrous joints (gomphosis, syndesmoses, and sutures).

Joint Classifications Characterized By Function

The joints are classified by function as follows: diarthrosis (all synovial joints), synarthrosis (gomphosis, synchondrosis, and syntoses, mainly fibrous joints), and amphiarthrosis (syndesmosis, symphysis, interosseous membrane, mainly cartilaginous joints). 

Joint Classifications Characterized By Body Area

The joints are classified by body area as follows: wrist, elbow, shoulder, sternoclavicular, hip, knee, hands and feet (articulation joints), pelvis (sacroiliac joint – see also “What Is The Treatment For Sacroiliac Joint Pain?“), vertebral articulatory, and jaw (temporomandibular joint). 

Subclassifications Of Joints

Depending on the quantity of bones associated with each joint and their unique biomechanical characteristics, joints may be further subclassified anatomically into basic, compound, and difficult joints. 

For instance, the joint is simpler the fewer bones involved, and more complex the more bones involved.

Problems With Joints

Arthritis is among the most infamous and painful conditions to affect joints (see also “How Long Does It Take For CBD Oil To Work For Joint Pain?“). It primarily affects the joints in old age, but because of poor posture and sedentary lifestyles, many young individuals are now developing this disease as well. 

Joint discomfort and edema may also be caused by harmful behaviors like joint cracking.

You may maintain healthy joints and prevent conditions like stiff joints, aching joints, etc. away well into old age with a decent balanced diet as well as some light, frequent activity. Stay active to maintain flexible joints.

Final Thoughts

The locations where bones meet are known as joints. They consist of soft tissues including tendons, ligaments, and cartilage in addition to bone.

Each joint helps keep your bones intact, and the majority of them let you move in a variety of ways. You can extend your arm up, down, and in all directions thanks to a ball-and-socket joint, such as the one between your arm and your shoulder. 

Your knee is a hinge joint that enables you to move backwards and forwards. They consist of soft tissues including tendons, ligaments, and cartilage in addition to bone. 

It’s important to keep your joints healthy by maintaining a healthy diet and exercise to avoid conditions such as arthritis.

Clark Ruffington
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