Saturday, December 5, 2009

Article- Bones in the Body

Bones have so many different roles within the human body. So what are their roles and are they really that important?

The bones in our body provide us with structure determining our body shape. Some people have narrow shoulders, others wide. All of this depends on the structure and shape of our bones. This is very important for sportsman (weightlifting, rugby etc) that need to cater certain techniques or movements to how they are built. For eg if you have a long neck you don’t play hooker in case the scrum collapses and you injure your neck.
The structure of a male body and female body is similar but the main difference is in the size and strength of the pelvis. The pelvis is structured differently because they need a larger, stronger pelvis for child bearing.

Bones support the human body by allowing muscles, ligaments and tendons attach to them. For eg the biceps muscles attach to the lateral epicondyle of the humorous. Ligaments attach bones to bones and tendons attach muscles to bones. Without bones our ligaments, muscles and tendons would have nowhere to connect.
Where muscles attach in bodybuilding is very important. For example if the biceps attach higher up the humerus then this will result in a rather small but high bicep apposed to a lower attachment resulting in a longer but smaller peak on the bicep.
Steroids as well as some conditions like Osteo-arthritis actually weaken the ligaments and tendons that attach to the bones. Resulting in muscles being easily torn off the bone.

One of the many important roles bones play in the human body is protection. For example the ribcage protects all the important organs underneath like the heart and lungs or the skull, which protects the brain, then we wouldn’t be able to participate in any contact sports. Protection is very important to our vital organs that is why it is very important to have efficient calcium in your diet to keep your protective bones strong.
Conditions like Osteo-porosis is the result of a calcium deficiency and affects the bones by making them very brittle and prone breakage. Osteo porosis mainly affects the elderly because their diet is usually not nutritionally sound. Osteo-porosis also affects individuals with a very sedentary lifestyle.

When growing up children run around jump and twist and actually weaken their bones. Bones do something very similar to how muscles repair micro tears with protein. When a bone is weakened from continuos running and jumping it produces small molecules called Osteo-blasts. These Osteo-blasts travel to where the bone is weak and strengthens it.
Studies now show that children, at an early age, that don’t participate in regular exercise have slightly weaker bones when they are older due to the fact that they didn’t receive consistent Osteo blasts in the weakened part of the bone.
If you see your children running around be glad to know that there are so many benefits to them exercising and strong bones is one of them. Also remember that strong bones means a lot more than ‘I’ll never break a leg.’ It means that you will hopefully delay the onset of Osteo-porosis.

Bone is also where you can find the very important Bone Marrow. Bone marrow is one of the most important aspects of bone; this is where white blood cells are made. White blood cells are used to fight off the bad bacteria within the body.
You may have heard of people needing bone marrow transplants that is because either their bone marrow doesn’t produce enough white blood cells to help the immune system fights bad bacteria or their marrow doesn’t produce white blood cells at all. This is very fatal because if the body has no defences to disease then death is imminent.

The good thing is calcium can be found in many every day foods, Milk, cheese and all dairy products. Combine exercise with the right amount of calcium and you are doing all the right steps to have good, strong healthy bones.

Matt D’Aquino

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