Types Of Joints

Living organisms are distinguishable from non-living things as they exhibit specific characteristics which are not expressed by a non-living thing. Locomotion or movement is one among them. Every living organism is made up of a special system for locomotion. Let’s have a glance of joint and its types which help a human to move his/her body parts easily and comfortably.

Locomotion is the process of movement from one place to another. Locomotion of a body is the effort of bones and muscles present in them. The skeletal system is a framework of bones in a human body. Skeletal system includes bones from top to bottom. Throughout these bones, we can observe different types of joints.

Bones help us to rotate our shoulder, bend our knees and elbows, etc. This flexibility is because of joints present in our body. A joint is a point where two bones meet and aid in the movements. Bones are attached to one another by tissues called ligaments. Joints can be of many types – According to the structural classification of Joints, they are divided into 3 types:

  1. Fibrous Joints or fixed joints.
  2. Cartilaginous Joints or slightly moveable joints.
  3. Synovial Joints or freely movable joints.

Let us have a clear outlook on these three types of joints:

Types of Joints

Fibrous or fixed joints

Fixed joints, also called immovable joints are found where bones are not flexible. In such joints, bones have been fused together in such a way that they are fixed to that part. A common example is a skull which is made up of a number of bones fused. Other examples are the upper jaw, rib cage, backbone, pelvic bone, etc.

Cartilaginous Joints or slightly moveable joints.

Cartilaginous joints are partly movable joints comprising of symphysis or synchondrosis joints. These joints occur only in those regions where the connection between the articulating bones is made up of cartilage.

Synchondrosis are temporary cartilaginous joints which are present in the young children, until the end of puberty. For example the epiphyseal plates present at each end of the long bones.

The symphysis is permanent and secondary cartilaginous joints. For example the Pubic symphysis.

Examples of cartilaginous types of joints include the spinal column and the ribcage.

Synovial Joints or freely movable joints

The synovial joints are the most common type of joint because this joint helps us to move freely all around. Synovial joints help us to walk, run, type, and also to write. Synovial joints are flexible, movable, can slide over one another, rotatable and so on. These joints include our shoulder joint, neck joint, knee joint, wrist joint, etc. There are six types of freely movable joint and are mentioned below with the examples:

Ball and socket joints: Here one bone is hooked into hollow space of another bone. This type of joint helps in rotatory movement. An example of Ball and socket joint is the shoulders.

Pivotal Joints: In this type of joint, one bone has tapped into the other in such way that full rotation is not possible. This joint aid in sideways and back-forth movement. An example of pivotal joints is the neck.

Hinge joints: Hinge joints are like door hinge where only back and forth movement is possible. Example of Hinge joints is the ankle, elbow, and knee joints.

Human Skeletal System - joints

Saddle joints: Saddle joint is the biaxial joint that allows the movement on two planes–flexion/extension and abduction/adduction. For example, the thumb is the only bone structure in the human body having a saddle joint.

Condyloid joints: Condyloid joints are the joints with two axes which permit up, down and side-to-side motions. The condyloid joints can be found at the base of the index finger, carpals of the wrist, elbow and the wrist joints. This joint is also known as condylar, or ellipsoid joint.

Gliding joints: Gliding joints are the common type of synovial joint. It is also known as a plane or planar joint. This joint permit two or more, round or flat bones to move freely together without any rubbing or crushing of bones. This joint is mainly found in those regions where the two bones meet and glide on one another in any of the directions. The lower leg to ankle joint and the forearm to wrist joint are the two main examples of gliding joints.

Stay tuned with BYJU’S to learn more about the joints, their types, and the Skeletal system.


Practise This Question

Following the neck, an athlete exercises for the shoulder. He/she spreads out his/her arms and starts making big wide circles with them. Which kind of structural arrangement in the shoulders allows such movement?