The joints are differently shaped and sized. They also are classified into different types and are located throughout your body. Joints also give you the skeleton its shape. The main function of the joints is to help you move and all you are doing daily they make possible. However, it is advised to visit a doctor if you notice any joint changes, especially pain.

What are Joints?

A connection of two bones is called a joint. Moreover, they belong to the skeletal system and you can see joints referred to as articulations. The human body has hundreds of joints in the body and experts classify them differently usually, based on their function and composition.

All articulations help to use our body every day even those you know such as ankles or do not know (such as joints that hold your skull together).


Articulations help to support our body and help us to stand, sit, and move. However, some joints provide structural support and are based on how much they are moving. For example:

  • Synarthroses – These are articulations that provide structural support, which means that they do not move at all.
  • Amphiarthroses – These joints have limited movement and give you stability and some motions.
  • Diarthroses – Joints from this category can freely move in all directions. As a result, these articulations allow most movements.


The joints are created of bones and certain connective tissues listed below. Examples include:

  • Ligaments
  • Nerves
  • Tendons
  • Cartilage

In addition, physicians also classified articulations by how much connective tissue they have. For example:

  • Fibrous joints
  • Cartilaginous joints
  • Synovial joints

Fibrous Joints

These articulations are not very flexible and certain fibrous joints do not move at all. In addition, fibrous articulations usually contain a lot of collagen.

  • Sutures – Hold the plates of the skull together
  • Gomphoses – Hold the teeth in place of the jaw bones
  • Syndesmoses – Hold two near bones together including the tibia (shin bone) with fibula (calf bone).

Cartilaginous Joints

These articulations have some movement but far do not move in all directions. For example, the breastbone (ribs meet in your sternum), and the pubic symphysis joint (holds pelvic bones together) are cartilaginous joints.

Synovial Joints

This category of joints can move roughly in all directions freely. Moreover, there is a slippery hyaline cartilage that is located at the end of the bones that make up a synovial joint. In addition, a synovial membrane is a fluid-filled sac that helps to decrease friction between bones as much as possible. Check below some examples:

  • Saddle Joints – These are articulations that help to hold two curved bones. These joints can move in all directions but cannot rotate or twist.
  • Planar Joints – The joint that connects your wrist and forearm is a planar joint.
  • Pivot Joints – These articulations allow a rotation without moving from the original position. They are located in your neck.
  • Condyloid Joints – These joints are similar to ball and socket joints but anyway a full 360-degree rotation is not possible. Articulations where your toes meet the rest of the foot are condyloid joints.
  • Ball and Socket Joints – The shoulders and hips are ball and socket joints. They can move approximately in all directions.
  • Hinge Joints – Knees and elbows are considered hinge articulations.

Health Conditions

Unfortunately, anything that could damage your bones or connective tissues provokes health conditions. Examples include:

Those who experience an autoimmune disease also may notice joint symptoms. For example:

  • Sjogren’s syndrome
  • Lupus
  • Psoriatic arthritis
  • Rheumatoid arthritis

The articulations also can be damaged due to falls and car accidents. Check below other injuries that impact your joints:

  • Sprains
  • Dislocations
  • Bone fractures
  • Sports injuries


The symptoms usually vary among people because it depends on the severity of the condition, the cause, your age, and others. Check some examples below:

  • Inflammation (swelling)
  • Pain
  • Dislocation or redness around an articulation
  • A feeling of warmth or heat
  • Grinding feeling
  • Popping noise

If you experience any of the previous symptoms, it is advised to see a doctor immediately.


Which test you have to do depends on the symptoms you notice. Visit your doctor right away if notice some changes in your articulation, especially pain. Check below some tests:

  • MRIs
  • CT scans
  • Joint aspiration
  • Ultrasounds
  • X-rays

If you have any questions, ask your physician.

How Can I Take Care of My Joints?

The best method that can help you to take care of the articulations to maintain good health. Examples include:

  • Adopt a healthy and nutritious diet
  • Wear protective equipment during sport
  • Regular check-ups with your healthcare professional are recommended
  • Always wear your seatbelt
  • Exercise regularly (for example strength training, cycling, swimming, low-impact cardio, and water aerobics are good options)

Discuss with your healthcare provider for more details.

How Many Joints Are in The Human Body?

However, the exact number of articulations depends on which definition you are using. For example, some physicians consider joints those that are placed in two bones while others define articulations differently, meaning that joints are those where two bones meet and move. In any case, it is considered that an adult has roughly 350 joints.

Frequently Asked Questions

What are the four main joint types?

  • Pivot joints
  • Ellipsoidal joints
  • Hinge joints
  • Ball and socket joints (such as shoulders and hips)

What are the general anatomy joints?

An articulation is considered a point where two bones meet. These articulations can be classified histologically (dominant type of connective tissue) and functionally (amount of allowed movement).

What are the 3 major joint conditions?

Osteoarthritis, gout, rheumatoid arthritis, and ankylosing spondylitis are considered the most common joint diseases. Moreover, previous health conditions affect also your bones, tendons, ligaments, cartilage, and surrounding muscles. Talk with your doctor if you think you have a joint disease.

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