What Tendon is and its Function in Human Body

Tendon is the tough, thick band of fibrous tissue that connects muscle to bone. Tendons are made up of collagen fibers. It functions to transmit the force generated by muscle contraction to bone. Tendons are strong and durable, but also flexible because they can stretch and recoil without rupturing. The extensibility of tendons means that they absorb much of the force generated by muscle contractions as well as minimize energy consumption during locomotion and other movements.

What are the Types of Tendons in the Human Body?

The three types of tendons in the human body are:

  • The Flexor Tendons – these tendons allow humans to bend their joints and curl their fingers. Flexor tendons are located where the hand meets the wrist. There are five flexor tendons in total, all of which start at the palm and end at the fingers. Each finger has two flexor tendons, one on the thumb side and one on the other side.
  • The Extensor Tendons – these tendons allow humans to straighten their joints and extend their toes. The extensor tendons are made up of a main tendon, the extensor digitorum longus and several smaller tendons, including the extensor digiti minimi.
  • The Ligamentous Tendons – these tendons connect bones to other bones and muscles. They also provide stability and support. Moreover, ligamentous tendons are the most numerous, yet least-known, of the connective tissues.

How Tendons Work in Coordination with Muscles and Ligaments

Tendons, ligaments, and muscles work together to control movement and stabilize joints. The tendons in our body attach muscle to bone. The tendons also connect muscles with each other as well as bones. Muscles provide the power needed for movements while tendons and ligaments keep joints stable during movements.

Tendons have two primary functions:

  • They create tension in the muscle, which makes it contract and move.
  • They provide additional support to a joint by reducing stress on the ligaments and muscles around it.

Importance of Tendons for Strong & Healthy Muscles

Tendons connect muscles to bones and are some of the strongest tissues in the human body. They can be found in both our arm and leg muscles, but they are often not appreciated until they become injured.

Tendons help create movement by allowing muscles to contract and relax as needed. If we didn’t have them, then our arms would be unable to reach for tall cups or shelves, while our legs would be too weak to walk up stairs or hills.

How is Tendon Strength Measured?

A tendon’s strength is measured in units called newtons (N). There are two factors that affect the tendon’s strength. First, the cross-sectional area of the tendon and second, the modulus of elasticity of the tissue. Medical professions use a unit called kilonewtons (kN) which is 1,000 newtons. A strong tendon has about 70-80 kN of strength; while a rupture of a tendon can produce only 50 kN or less with just one contraction.

Frequently Asked Questions on Tendons

What are tendons?

Tendons are the tough, thick band of fibrous tissues that connects muscle to bone.

What are the functions of tendons?

Tendons have the following primary functions:

  • They create tension in the muscle, which makes it contract and move.
  • They provide additional support to a joint by reducing stress on the ligaments and muscles around it.

What are the types of tendons?

The three types of tendons in the human body are:

  • The Flexor Tendons
  • The Extensor Tendons
  • The Ligamentous Tendons

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