How Many Bones? - Wesley Chapel chiropractorThe skeletal system is an important part of the body responsible for protecting the organs, maintaining the balance and movement of the different parts such as the extremities. The skeletal system is composed of bones, cartilage, tendons and ligaments. The most important structure in the skeletal system are the bones, but other structures also play an important role for the movement of the bones, and your Wesley Chapel chiropractor works with all of these pieces during your adjustments.

The skeletal system, specifically the bones are formed due to various factors. Normal development of the bones is highly dependent on the amount of calcium and Vitamin D in the body. Calcium is a mineral responsible for the mineralization and increase in bone density of the bones. Major percentage of the structure of the bone is made up to calcium. Vitamin D is also important because it enhances the absorption of calcium in the gut, thereby, calcium can be utilized by the body for the formation of bones.

The longest or biggest bone in the body is the femur located in the thighs, while the smallest is the stapes located on the middle ear. Bones assume different sizes and shape such as long bones, flat bones and fused bones. Long bones are found on the arms and the legs. Flat bones are located on the hips, sternum and scapula. Bones usually occur singly, but certain fused bones are made of two or more small bones. An example of these is the hip bone, which is composed of three fused bones. The cranium is also a fused bone.

The adult human skeleton is composed of 206 bones from the head until the toes. The bones of newborns normally consists more bones than the adult bones. Newborns have 270 bones, which normally fuses as they age forming only 206 bones during adulthood. The skeletal system is subdivided into different areas in the body including:

  • Axial skeleton

The axial skeleton is composed of the vertebral column, the skull and the rib cage. The axial skeleton is composed of 26 bones in the vertebral column, 22 bones in the skull with 7 associate bones (6 ear bones and 1 throat bone) and 25 bones in the ribcage.

  • Appendicular skeleton

The appendicular skeleton is formed by the bones outside the axial skeleton such as the upper limbs, lower limbs, pelvic girdle and pectoral girdles. The appendicular skeleton is composed of 126 bones comprising of 60 bones in the upper limbs, 60 bones sin the lower limbs, 2 bones in the pelvic girdle and 4 bones in the pectoral girdle.

The skeletal bones are responsible for movement, support and protection of the organs. Bones that protect the organs include:

  • Skull for the brain
  • Vertebral column for the spine
  • Sternum, spine and rib cage  for the  heart and lungs
  • Pelvis for the urogenital structures

The bones are also responsible for the production of normal blood cells by the action of the bone marrow inside the bones. The bones are one of the primary concerns of chiropractic care along with the muscles, tendons and ligaments.