The human skeleton is a fascinating structure. It has multiple uses and purposes, some of them which you might not be aware of. With Halloween and the spooky season approaching, let’s take a deeper dive into the bony part of the human body.
First, here are some fun facts: the human skeleton consists of 206 bones, ranging from small to large, long, thin, small, and clunky. The longest and strongest bone in your body is the thigh bone, aka the femur. Believe it or not, but the smallest bone in your body is found in your inner ear and is called the stapes. Joints are the articulations where the bones come together to allow for movement. We have 360 of those. The only bony connection your arms have to the spine and trunk (aka axial skeleton) is through the connection of your collar bone (clavicle) to your breast bone (sternum). There is one bone in your body that does not join with any other bone and this is the hyoid, located in the front of your neck. Weird, eh?
The purpose of the skeleton is to form a sort of framework for the body and to work as attachment points for the muscles. This allows the muscles to contract and create movement. Another purpose is protection of our organs. Lungs and heart (amongst other things) are protected by the ribcage, a literal cage that is made in a way that allows for protection and movement at the same time. The skull protects our brains and the spine protects the spinal cord. That is just mentioning a few.
Did you know that 95% of the red and white blood cells in your body is produced by your bones? Most bones have a soft and spongy material located in the middle of the bones called the bone marrow and this is where the blood cells are produced. In an adult, the bones with the most amount of bone marrow and hence produce most blood cells are the sternum, pelvis, and the vertebra of the spine.
All these fun facts make one realize that the bones are kind of important and we should do our best to take care of them. There are certain actions you can take to keep your bones in the best possible health. Diet is important on a couple of fronts. You want to ensure that you eat food that includes lots of calcium, such as dark leafy greens, almonds, soy, and other products. Vitamin D intake through fatty fish and sunlight is another important consideration. For places where the sun exposure isn’t as good, supplementation might be a good alternative – ask you chiropractor about the vitamin D supplements we carry in the clinic. Lastly, weight training is important for strong bones. Bones responds to pressure and load by making more bone. With weight training, your bones will strengthen and your chances for healthier bones will increase greatly.
Do you have any questions about your skeleton or how to keep your bones and joints healthy and happy?
Ask your chiropractor today 😊