Musculoskeletal System

The musculoskeletal system includes the bones, joints, and muscles that give us the ability to move. The muscles of this system connect, shape, and move the skeleton. The musculoskeletal system also includes the various types of tissues that separate, cushion, and connect the skeletal and muscular tissues.

The musculoskeletal system is an organ system that gives us our ability to move using the skeletal and muscular systems. The musculoskeletal system provides us with our ability to move, stability, support for our spine and internal organs, and form. The musculoskeletal system is composed of the bones of the skeleton, muscle, ligaments, tendons, joints, and other connective tissues that support and bind tissues and organs together.

The skeletal system, made up of our body's 200+ bones, serves both a supportive role in the musculoskeletal system as well as a critical role in the formation of our blood. Our skeletal system also serves as the main storage system for phosphorus and calcium.

The bones of the skeletal system are separated and connected to one another by our tendons, ligaments, and other connective tissues. The ligaments connect bone to bone, the tendons connect bone to muscle, and the joints keep the bones from harmfully rubbing up against one another. The joints also provide mechanical support and protect against friction that could cause the bones to wear down or develop bone spurs if they were to rub up against each other. There are three main types of joint tissues: synovial joints, cartilaginous joints, and fibrous joints.

Many people who experience back pain have some type of problem with some part of the spine's structure. These problems are the ones most often identified as the source of pain in the structural system. Structural problems may develop slowly due to age related degenerative changes, or you may have had some type of injury that caused damage. However, these problems do not mean that you should have pain, nor do they mean that you cannot continue to lead a normal, active, healthy life. Structural imbalances can cause or aggravate your pain. These imbalances may involve stressful patterns of alignment and movement (posture) during daily activities, including rest, work, and exercise. There are a lot of things that need to grow right in order for our bodies to be properly balances. Consider the muscles of the spine, for example. We have muscles in front of, and in back of the spine, in addition to muscles to its right and left that enable us to turn laterally and rotate. When one of these muscle groups contract, we are able to bend forwards or backwards, to tilt towards one side, or to rotate our bodies in one direction. When at rest, our spine remains straight and well postured if the muscles of our spine are in proper balance with one another. Due to injury or muscle weakness on one side of the body, the spine may begin to be pulled in one direction, causing strain on the discs and soft tissues. Injury or degenerative changes to the spine may also unbalance structures such as the spine. Due to chronic stretching of the ligaments or degeneration of the facets, which are the bone projections in the facet joints, the bone segments of the spine may be pulled out of their proper alignment with one another. Conditions that describe structural misalignments of the spine include scoliosis and spondylolisthesis.

Structural imbalances in the musculoskeletal system may be corrected by making corrections your posture, surgical repair or removal of structures causing the imbalance, and physiotherapy (physical therapy).