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The Musculoskeletal System

Basic understanding of the musculoskeletal system, what it looks like and how it functions.
The musculoskeletal system is made up of bones, muscles, joints, tendons and ligaments which all work together to provide the body with support, protection, and movement. The two key components of the musculoskeletal system are the skeleton – composed of mainly bones and the skeletal muscle. The skeleton includes bone, cartilage, ligaments, tendons and joints. The nervous system provides a vital link between this system and the brain, ensuring coordinated movements and control. A good blood supply is also essential, especially to the muscles which consume large amounts of energy. There are 206 bones supporting the weight of our body.

Bone is a living tissue with a blood supply. It is constantly being dissolved and reformed and can repair itself if a bone is broken. Muscle is made up of specialised cells called myocyte. The skeletal myocytes are sometimes referred to as muscle fibres due to their long and fibrous shape.

The musculoskeletal system has many components which all must work together to allow us to move about in our daily lives. If any of these components start to fail, it can have a serious knock-on effect on the whole system. Diseases or damage to the musculoskeletal system can lead to failures including impaired movement, chronic pain, and damage to other organ systems, like the circulatory system, immune system, and kidneys.

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Musculoskeletal Health: A Public Health Approach

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FutureLearn - Learning For Life

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