Functions of the Skeletal System

The skeletal system is the body system composed of bones, cartilages, ligaments and other tissues that perform essential functions for the human body. Bone tissue, or osseous tissue, is a hard, dense connective tissue that forms most of the adult skeleton, the internal support structure of the body. 


In the areas of the skeleton where whole bones move against each other (for example, joints like the shoulder or between the bones of the spine), cartilages, a semi-rigid form of connective tissue, provide flexibility and smooth surfaces for movement. Additionally, ligaments composed of dense connective tissue

Skeletal System


surround these joints, tying skeletal elements together (a ligament is the dense connective tissue that connect bones to other bones). Together, they perform the following functions:

Functions of the skeletal system.

Support, Movement, and Protection

Some functions of the skeletal system are more readily observable than others. When you move you can feel how your bones support you, facilitate your movement, and protect the soft organs of your body. Just as the steel beams of a building provide a scaffold to support its weight, the bones and cartilages of your skeletal system compose the scaffold that supports the rest of your body. Without the skeletal system, you would be a limp mass of organs, muscle, and skin. Bones facilitate movement by serving as points of attachment for your muscles. Bones also protect internal organs from injury by covering or surrounding them. For example, your ribs protect your lungs and heart, the bones of your vertebral column (spine) protect your spinal cord, and the bones of your cranium (skull) protect your brain.

Mineral and Fat Storage, Blood Cell Formation

On a metabolic level, bone tissue performs several critical functions. For one, the bone tissue acts as a reservoir for a number of minerals important to the functioning of the body, especially calcium, and phosphorus. These minerals, incorporated into bone tissue, can be released back into the bloodstream to maintain levels needed to support physiological processes. Calcium ions, for example, are essential for muscle contractions and are involved in the transmission of nerve impulses.

Bones also serve as a site for fat storage and blood cell production. The unique connective tissue that fills the interior of most bones is referred to as bone marrow. There are two types of bone marrow: yellow bone marrow and red bone marrow. Yellow bone marrow contains adipose tissue, and the triglycerides stored in the adipocytes of this tissue can be released to serve as a source of energy for other tissues of the body. Red bone marrow is where the production of blood cells (named hematopoiesis, hemato- = “blood”, -poiesis = “to make”) takes place. Red blood cells, white blood cells, and platelets are all produced in the red bone marrow. As we age, the distribution of red and yellow bone marrow changes as seen in the figure.

Bone Marrow: Bones contain variable amounts of yellow and/or red bone marrow. Yellow bone marrow stores fat and red bone marrow is responsible for producing blood cells (hematopoiesis).

Bhaskar Summary

The major functions of the skeletal system are body support, facilitation of movement, protection of internal organs, storage of minerals and fat, and blood cell formation.

Dr Rohit Bhaskar, Physio
Dr Rohit Bhaskar, Physio Dr. Rohit Bhaskar, Physio is Founder of Bhaskar Health and Physiotherapy and is also a consulting physiotherapist. He completed his Graduation in Physiotherapy from Uttar Pradesh University of Medical Sciences. His clinical interests are in Chest Physiotherapy, stroke rehab, parkinson’s and head injury rehab. Bhaskar Health is dedicated to readers, doctors, physiotherapists, nurses, paramedics, pharmacists and other healthcare professionals. Bhaskar Health audience is the reason I feel so passionate about this project, so thanks for reading and sharing Bhaskar Health.

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