You may think "isn't it just a bunch of bones?"
Well, let's dive a little deeper and have some fun!
In the spirit of Halloween, here is a fun little quiz on the human skeleton! Play along and find the answers (and maybe a few extra tidbits of information) below.
- How many bones make up the ADULT human skeleton?
- How many bones are located in our hands? How many in our feet?
- There are said to be six main functions performed by the human skeleton. Can you think of two?
- What is the LARGEST bone in the body?
- What is the SMALLEST bone in the body?
- Bones are strong, but there is one part of our body that is stronger. Do you know what it is?
- When two bones meet, we call this a _____?
- On average, how long does it take for a fractured bone to heal?
- Bones are constantly breaking down and building up, also known as bone formation and resorption. Can you think of ONE strategy that may help to balance this process?
- What are some commonly treated “bone related” conditions, we as physiotherapists may be involved in treating?
- 206 bones make up the ADULT human skeleton.
The NEWBORN human skeleton is made up of more than 206 bones – it consists of bony parts and cartilage parts. These smaller parts ossify into the larger bone structure of the adult skeleton over time.
- 27 bones in each hand and 26 bones in each foot! More than half of our bones are located in our hands and feet!
Fun Fact! This includes the fingers, the palm and the wrist bones for the hand. And for the foot it includes the toes, the midfoot and the hindfoot.
- The six main functions of the human skeleton include:
> Blood cell production
> Calcium storage/mineral storage
> Endocrine function/regulation
- The LARGEST bone in the body is the femur; the large bone in your upper leg that connects to your hip joint and knee joint.
- The SMALLEST bone in the body is the stapes; a small bone in our inner ear that plays a role in hearing.
- TEETH! Our teeth are actually stronger than bone.
- Bones meet to form JOINTS (ex: knee joint, hip joint, finger joint, etc) which allows for movement.
Just as important - bones also provide attachment sites for our muscles which is also necessary for movement.
- 6-8 weeks is the average time for a bone to heal!
There are however many factors that play a role in the time for fracture healing to occur including the type and severity of the break, the location of the break, age, comorbidities, etc.
- One strategy that benefits bone formation and resorption is EXERCISE!
- Continued functional loading (exercise) appears to help balance this natural process.
- Exercise has also been shown to help improve bone STRENGTH.
- Maintaining physical activity and participation in strength training and weight bearing activities help to maintain levels of bone mineral density in older adults.
- Commonly treated “bone-related” conditions/diseases that we as physiotherapists may be involved in the rehabilitation or treatment include:
- Fractures (non-operative, post-operative)
- Osteoporosis, osteopenia
I hope you all have a safe and happy Halloween. And when you are out and about on Halloween, I hope you stop and appreciate the human skeleton decorations out there. Without your skeleton, you wouldn’t be moving around the way we do!
~ Jacquie, Physiotherapist