Explained: Skeletal System, The Supporting Structure Of Human Anatomy

, Monday, 4 March 2013

The human body: The ninth wonder of the world

The skeletal system is the integral part of the whole body with more than 200 bones that need to be well maintained. Easy enough to maintain something you can see right? Ignorance isn’t always bliss and when you take this wonderful, intricate structure for granted it and you will suffer. You’re sitting up right now reading this and it’s your skeletal system that is keeping you upright. I am writing this using my hands and fingers; I would not be able to convey these words without my trusted skeleton enabling me to tap as I type.

Bones need to meet, the joints introduce them by either fixing them together or help them to manoeuvre; these joints are either fixed or fibrous. Two ways in which a connection is made and when maintained will form a healthy, sustained relationship. Poor posture, emotional stress and injury can affect this special union so it is important to ‘do right’ by it and listen to it when it speaks; and it will have its own voice which cannot be ignored.

What is amazing about the skeletal system is just how much it varies between a man and a woman. The Pelvis of a woman is broader than that of a male in order to cradle the growing body of a baby, one part of the structure that embraces life.  So what should you know about this beautifully engineered structure? It likes to move freely without stumbling or getting stuck, it needs to have a full tank of fuel known as synovial fluid. Synovial fluid works as a lubricant between the joints and bones so they glide instead of grind; free flowing keeping you supple beneath the skins surface.

Common joints problems


As with all structures, the skeletal system can suffer from ageing and a battering from the strong wind that is everyday life; depending on how you live your life of course. Osteoporosis, which sees the bones becoming brittle, is one of the ailments which can lead to prolonged periods of immobility; age being a primary factor but does not mean time is up.


The most common form of joint disease and affects in particular, women that are going through the menopause. It is hard enough to accept that your body is changing hormonally and now you have to face pain and swelling from degenerating joints and loss of joint function. Massage manipulation and exercise can help lessen the pain of Osteoarthritis. It may not be curable but it can be managed; ‘the change can be good’.


Adolescence has its issues too! Degenerative diseases are not always a result of getting older even more reason to remember the importance of the skeletal system. Scoliosis is a condition which sees the spine curve from side to side. Signs may include uneven hips, slow nervous reactions and protruding ribs or shoulder blades. There is no clear cause for scoliosis but there is plenty that a chiropractor can do to alleviate pain and limit its effects.


It is inevitable that we should touch on the ‘stress’ word. Think about it, when you are feeling low you look down; you walk along with hunched shoulders and are as tight as a coiled spring. That tightness and tension can lead to postural problems. The spine is also now feeling stressed, bent over and not being able to stand tall because of how you are feeling. Many find it hard to adopt the right posture and some don’t even know they are standing or sitting in a way that is detrimental to them. Not only does this feel uncomfortable but it can look awkward to anyone that is looking at you. Slouched shoulder, hunched back…sounds painful too! Correcting yourself without the right guidance can be equally as harmful.

What’s holding you up?

  • Take notice of any unusual feeling or twinge
  • Headaches? Think about your posture
  • Stiff, painful wrists? What job are you doing? Notice if you are being repetitive in your movements
  • Lower back pain? Your sit down for most of the day at a computer for hours, eating lunch, dinner and watching TV. Why? And what’s your position?

Explore don’t Ignore

It’s Saturday and you’re at the barbers or hairdressers. Your locks want to look good so you have a new hair – do, your nail extensions are looking a little shoddy so you replace them with new ones. So why do we concentrate on the exterior when the interior is more important? To get to where you want to be you need to be able to walk, run and sit comfortably in the salon chair.

How you can help your skeletal system

Bad posture is habitual for so many people that it becomes the norm or natural. Rehabilitation is difficult but rebuilding is possible. Look at yourself in a mirror, when you are walking past a reflective window take a glance at how you shape up. Now, relax and adopt a stance with minimum muscular effort…it will transform you.

Walking exercise

Avoid slouched posture, with head down, shoulders stooped and tense.

Aim for keeping the balance of the head on top of the spine, freely poised and shoulders relaxed. Feel yourself transferring your weight onto alternate feet as you walk.

How to seat correctly at desk

Aim for holding your head freely poised, shoulders relaxed, knees a little apart (crossed legs twist the pelvis and spine) and feet firmly on the floor.

Avoid sitting with your head down, shoulder rounded and stomach compressed, resulting in restricted breathing. Or trying to sit so straight that your back is unnaturally curved.

Prevent postural pain

Avoid Slouching over the desk. Stomach tight breathing restricted and arm tense.

Aim for Sitting correctly and simply bending forward at the hip joint, keeping your bottom firmly in the seat. Do not grip a pen to tightly, or tense your arm when typing, writing or working at a word processor or computer. Make sure your chair is chosen or adjusted to be a comfortable height in relation to the desk top.

How can spinal therapy help the skeleton

A qualified and experienced spinal therapist can apply precise treatment and stretching manipulation to restore structural balance and better movement to the joints, allowing them to function properly.

Ben has been a practical pain management trainer and a celebrated massage therapist. He believes human well-being is deeply connected to the health of mind and body both, including deep tissues. He holds numerous certifications for best of breeds massage techniques helping him on a mission for healthy London and then rest of the world. He has been an active contributor in massage technique research and on Massaggi blog.