By the end of this section, you will be able to:
- Discuss the axial and appendicular parts of the skeletal system
- Explain the role of joints in skeletal movement
- Explain the role of muscles in locomotion
The muscular and skeletal systems provide support to the body and allow for movement. The bones of the skeleton protect the body’s internal organs and support the weight of the body. The muscles of the muscular system contract and pull on the bones, allowing for movements as diverse as standing, walking, running, and grasping items.
Injury or disease affecting the musculoskeletal system can be very debilitating. The most common musculoskeletal diseases worldwide are caused by malnutrition, which can negatively affect development and maintenance of bones and muscles. Other diseases affect the joints, such as arthritis, which can make movement difficult and, in advanced cases, completely impair mobility.
Progress in the science of prosthesis design has resulted in the development of artificial joints, with joint replacement surgery in the hips and knees being the most common. Replacement joints for shoulders, elbows, and fingers are also available.