Synovial joints are the most common type of joints in your body. They're the joints that allow you to perform the most movements, like bending your knees, running, whirling your arms about you. The entire joint is located in a capsule and this capsule is positioned along with the synovial membrane and contains synovial fluid, which greases the joints and makes movement possible and painless.
Types of Synovial Joints
Whenever anyone mentions your joints, you probably think about one of your synovial joints. Below are the six types of synovial joints, briefly explained:
1. Gliding Joints
Gliding joints, otherwise known as plane joints are, as their name suggests, when two plates move against one another. Examples of gliding joints include the joints in your wrists and ankles. One example of this joins functioning is when you wave your hand side to side?you're moving your wrist left and right. Your gliding joint makes this possible.
2. Hinge Joints
Hinge joints are just like door hinges?they open and close. One example of your hinge joints is your elbow. Think of your biceps and triceps as two people standing at opposite ends of a wall (your upper arm bone). Both are reaching out to the door (your lower arm bones). The biceps close the door through contraction, while the triceps through pulling, open the door.
3. Ball-and-Socket Joints
Ball and socket joints are the most "moveable" joints. Two examples are the joints in your shoulders and your hip. These joints allow you to move forward and backwards and also allow you to move in circular rotation.
4. Condyloid Joints
Condyloid joints are a bit like ball-and-socket joints, but without a socket. The ball in the condyloid joints instead just rests on another bone.
5. Saddle Joints
Saddle joints allow you to make several types of movements. Saddle joints can allow you to move your thumb toward and away from your finger and it can also stretch to touch your pinky finger.
6. Pivot Joints
Your pivot joints make it possible for you to move around an axis. One example is how you are able to move your head from one side to the other?there's a pivot joint at the top of your spine that allows this movement.
Functions of Synovial Joints
1. Blood Supply
The arteries give off epiphyseal and articular blanches to form a peri-articular arterial plexus. Countless blood vessels form the plexus thread through the fibrous capsule to form a rich vascular plexus within the deeper section of the synovial membrane. The vessels of synovial membrane finally stop at the articular margins and around the circulus vasculosus which supplies the epiphyses, capsule and synovial membrane.
2. Lymphatic Drainage
The subintima of synovial membrane and a plexus are formed from lymphatics which drain along the vessels to the deeper regional nodes.
3. Stability Maintenance
Below is a list of factors that help maintain the stability at your synovial joints, listen in order of importance:
- Muscles are probably one of the most important factors that helps keep your joints working properly and safe. Without your muscles for support, the joints in your knees and shoulders would have been unbalanced?to name just one example of their importance.
- Ligaments are imperative in the role of preventing extensive movement and avoiding extra joint stress than can lead to injury. On the other hand, they don't guard against continuous stress since they may not be able to return to their original position after being stretched out for too long. In these instances, elastic ligaments are more useful as they work like elastic bands and stretch then contract again.
- Bones help maintain the stability of certain types of joints, like your hip and ankle joints.
Movements of Synovial Joints
- Abduction. This is when you move away from the mid-line of your body.
- Adduction. This is when you move towards the mid-line of your body.
- Extension. This is when you straighten your limbs at a joint.
- Flexion. This is when you bend your limbs around a joint.
- Rotation. This is when you make any circular movement in one place.
- Circumduction. This is when you perform any combination of abduction, adduction, extension and flexion.
Exercise and Synovial Joints
Exercise can actually help you strengthen the effectiveness of the synovial fluid and can also help you cope with arthritis and also osteoarthritis. Both of these conditions are caused when a joint cartilage breaks down, in addition to a decrease in the amount of synovial fluid and increases in inflammation.
One study that was performed on women who suffer from osteoarthritis in their knees noted that when they exercised, there was an increase in anti-inflammatory substances in their fluid. To compare, another group of women with the same condition was assessed, and since they did not exercise, the inflammation was greater.
However, it's still important to consult with your doctor before starting any exercise programs if you have any bone-related condition.