3 Major Types of Joints in the Body: All You Need to Know

June 29, 2024

3 Major Types of Joints in the Body: All You Need to Know

Have you not slept last night because of sensitive pain in different types of joints in the body? Or you can't walk comfortably for 5 minutes because of your joint pain? It can happen for different reasons at any age. But actually, is there any solution to this problem?

The skeletal system of an adult human has 206 named bones connected by 250–350 joints (1) . Based on flexibility and movement, there are 3 main types of joints in the human body. Moreover, these 3 categories have different subcategories under them.

Whether you want to learn about human joint anatomy, or you have pain in different joints in your body, this article will be helpful for you. Because we will talk about in-depth insights into the types of joints and how they work in our body. (So, grab a cup of coffee, as we're going to explore the types of joints and how they work in our body.)

3 Main Types of Joints in the Body

There are 3 types of joints available in the human body: fibrous joints, amphiarthrose joints, and synovial joints (diarthroses) (2) . The fibrous joints provide structural stability with minimal movement. Then the amphiarthroses offer a balance between stability and mobility. And finally, synovial or diarthrosis joints allow for a wide range of movements.

Fibrous Joints

Fibrous joints also known as synarthroses, are immovable joints of the human body. This strong fibrous connective tissue holds two or more bones together. These joints are super strong and give stability.

The skull (excluding the jaw) and the joint between the radius and ulna in the forearm are both examples of fibrous joints. We have added 3 different types of joints in the body of fibrous joints (3) here:

Sutures

Sutures are a type of bone joint that is made of strong tissue that connects the bones in our skull. This tissue is full of collagen, which makes it tough but flexible. Generally, we can find this type of joint in our skull.

Synarthroses

Synarthroses are also immovable types of joints in our body, they offer very few limited movements. The tissue of these joints contains collagen, which gives it both strength and a bit of flexibility. We can see a joint at the distal end of the radius and ulna, this can be a good example of synarthroses joints (4) .

Gomphoses

Gomphoses are a specific type of joint in the fibrous tissue in our bodies. We may find this type of joint between the root of the tooth and the sockets. Though these are made with strong tissues, they provide stability and support for our teeth. The power of this joint, like strong tissue, allows it to withstand the pain of biting and chewing.

Amphiarthroses Joints

Amphiarthrosis is a type of type of joints that allow slight movements between adjacent bones. The cartilaginous joint can be a perfect example of this type of bone joint in our body. You may want to know that amphiarthrosis joints are divided into two different types:

Synchondrosis

Synchondrosis joints are a variation of the amphiarthroses types of joints in the body. These joints are made of tough yet flexible tissue that connects bones. Commonly, we may find this type of joint in the growing stages, like children's bones. Also, these bones help bones grow properly and provide stability. 

Symphysis

Symphysis joints are different from other joints based on movement. These joints are strong but not as flexible as your knee. But they still give your body stability and some gentle movement. The sacrum, ischium, coccyx, and pubic tubercle are the most common examples of this type of joint.

Synovial Joints (Diarthrosis)

Synovial joints, also known as diarthrosis joints, are the most common types of joints in our body. These joints are freely movable diarthrosis that allows us to complete our daily tasks. So it is very important to understand joint pain and how to maintain diarthrosis joints.

At this moment, you are scrolling mobile screens or using your laptop's mouse to read this blog by using your fingers. You can better understand the synovial joints by relating your movable joints. However, 6 different types of synovial or diarthrosis joints are listed below.

Hinge joints (elbow, knee)

Hinge joints work exactly the same as a door hinge, which allows you to move in one direction. The joints of the knee and the elbow are perfect examples of hinge joints. We can bend or straighten your arm or leg by using our hinge joints.

Ball-and-socket joints (shoulder, hip)

Ball-and-socket joints are like a ball (a rounded ball of one bone) fitting into a socket (a cup of another bone). You can find this type of joint in your shoulders and hips. These joints allow you to move your arms and legs in many different directions.

Condyloid joints (wrist)

Condyloid joints, or ellipsoid or condyloid joints, are similar to ball-and-socket joints. But it is not flexible like a ball-and-socket joint. It allows you to move up and down or in a side-to-side direction. But it doesn't allow rotational movement, so it is the only difference from the ball-and-socket joints. The movement of toes, wrists, and fingers are common examples of the ellipsoid joints in the body. 

Pivot joints (neck)

Pivot joints, also known as rotary or trochoid joints, allow rotation around a single axis. You can find the best example of neck movements, or turning your head from side to side or nodding up and down. 

Planar joints (wrist, ankle)

The planar joint, also known as the gliding joint, is a common type of synovial joint. Generally, these joints connect flat or nearly flat articular surfaces. It allows you to slide past each other in any direction along the plane of the joint. For example, you can consider the connection between the carpal bones in the wrist and the tarsal bones in the foot.

Saddle joints (thumb)

The saddle joint is a unique type of joint in our body, that is normally found in our thumb. These joints allow movement in many directions. Also, it gives your thumb strength to grip objects tightly.

Tips for Maintaining Healthy Joints

Different types of joints play important roles in the human body for living a healthy life. So we have to maintain healthy joints so that they can give us their services properly. Here are 7 simple tips to maintain healthy joints (5).

  • Stay Active (Exercise): Regular exercise is a very good habit for our physical and mental health. The good news is that there are a few exercises for maintaining healthy joints. You can try swimming, walking, or cycling, which are helpful for the joints.

  • Understand Your Body: Pay attention to any pain signals, like toe or knee pain, from the joints. If any activities harm your joints, then try to avoid this type of exercise, then try something else.

  • Eat a Joint-Friendly Diet: Avoid eating inflammatory foods like fatty fish, oily foods, dairy products, etc. Because these anti-inflammatory foods help support your joint health.

  • Don't Put Stress on Joints: Lifting excess weight puts stress on joints, especially in the legs. So, aim for lifting weight that feels good for your body, and it can help reduce your joint health problems .

  • Balance is the Key: Maintain a proper balance among eating, exercising, resting, and sleeping for healthy joints. You can also use a calorie-measuring device or get a consultation from a registered doctor.

Conclusion

Finally, we are at the end of this blog, hope you have a proper idea about the types of joints in the body. We have explained the major 3 types of joints in the human body and how they work. Additionally, you have a few easy tips for maintaining joint health to have a healthy life. 

However, if you have or are experiencing any problems with your joints, then without delay, you should get a consultation from a doctor. Because your minor issues might become major ones like osteoarthritis, gout, or rheumatoid arthritis (6) . So be careful about your health joints today and lead a healthy life.

FAQs

What are the Three Main Types of Joints?

Based on their ability to move, the 3 main types of joints are fibrous joints, amphiarthroses joints, and synovial (Diarthroses) joints. Fibrous joints are immovable joints, and cartilaginous joints are slightly movable joints. And synovial joints are movable, which allows for a wide range of motion.

What are the Five Functions of Joints?

Bone joints have several functions in the human body, five of which are listed below:

  • Support: Joints provide structure and stability to the skeleton.
  • Movement: Joints allow for a wide range of motions, like bending your elbow, rotating your head, etc.
  • Shock Absorption: Cartilage in joints helps cushion bones and absorb impact during activities like walking or jumping.
  • Protection: Joints help shield delicate structures like nerves and blood vessels within the bones.
  • Body Shape: The arrangement of joints determines our overall body shape and posture.

What is the Most Common Type of Joint?

Synovial joints (diarthroses) are the most common type of joint in the human body. These joints offer a wide range of movements and motions. Also, most of the joints throughout the body are found from your fingers to arms, toe to hips, etc.

How Many Joints Are in Our Body?

Experts don't agree on the exact number of joints in the human body (7) . Because it is very difficult to pinpoint due to variations in counting methods. The estimated range is between 200 and 300 joints in the human body.

Reference: 

  1. https://www.healthline.com/health/how-many-joints-in-human-body#takeaway
  2. https://pubmed.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/29939670/#:~:text=Histologically%20the%20three%20joints%20in,and%20diarthrosis%20(freely%20moveable) .
  3. https://byjus.com/biology/fibrous-joints/
  4. https://www.slideserve.com/zada/articulations-chapter-9
  5. https://www.verywellhealth.com/ways-to-keep-your-joints-healthy-189256
  6. https://www.medicalnewstoday.com/articles/joint-diseases
  7. https://my.clevelandclinic.org/health/body/25137-joints

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