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Your body's joints.

You have more than 200 bones in your body. Each bone is connected to another bone. The place where two bones meet is called a joint. Most of these joints move in special ways. Let's learn some of them.

HINGE JOINTS

Look at a door. See the metal plates that hold it to the wall? These plates make a hinge. A hinge lets the door swing open or closed.

A hinge joint in your body works much like a door hinge. The hinge joints in your knees, elbows, and fingers let those bones move much like a door, forward and back or up and down. They don't allow much twisting around.

BALL AND SOCKET JOINTS

When it comes to twisting movements, the ball and socket joint is the king. Try holding a small ball loosely in your hand to see why.

Turn the ball around in different directions.

You have a ball and socket joint where your leg meets your hip. You have another one where your arm meets your shoulder. Try waving your arms around like a windmill. The ball and socket joints in your shoulders allow your arms to move in many different directions.

SLIDING JOINTS

If you stacked twenty-six spools of thread and pushed a long drinking straw down through them to the floor, you'd have built something a lot like your backbone, or spine. Your thread-spool stack would be able to bend a long way, just as your spine joints let you bend your body forward, back, and to the sides.

The joint between each spool in your tower is called a sliding joint. Each spool is free to slide a little bit. The bones in your back--all twenty-six of them--meet in sliding joints like these. To feel them work, just bend over and touch your toes.
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Copyright 2006 Gale, Cengage Learning. All rights reserved.

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Publication:U.S. Kids
Geographic Code:1USA
Date:Mar 1, 2006
Words:301
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