Understanding the Musculoskeletal System

Understanding the Musculoskeletal System

Your body is a complex network of bones, tissues, organs, and blood. Several systems make up your body, including your musculoskeletal system. Without your muscles and bones, your body wouldn’t have a shape or be able to move around. Because this system allows you to do day-to-day tasks, it’s important to understand how to keep it working well.

At Commonwealth Musculoskeletal Medicine, our team specializes not only in keeping your musculoskeletal system at its best, but also treating conditions that routinely affect this system. Dr. Mark Conliffe is our musculoskeletal medicine specialist. He gets you the help you need to keep your body in tip-top shape.

What’s included in your musculoskeletal system?

Your musculoskeletal system is the part of your body that provides not only your shape, but also the ability to move and do physical activities. Your skeleton is made up of all of your bones and gives your body a definitive shape. Other parts of your musculoskeletal system include:


Your muscles allow you to make small and large movements, including writing or jumping. Each muscle consists of stretchy fibers that allow movement. Each muscle in your body has a specific function and type of movement.


Your tendons make the connection between your muscles and your bones. Without tendons, your muscles and bones wouldn’t meet to create movement. Your tendons are made up of collagen and fibrous material. Unlike muscles, tendons aren’t able to stretch much.


Cartilage is a type of tough, flexible tissue that helps protect the bones in your joints and body. It helps to keep your bones from rubbing together, which causes pain and inflammation. Cartilage isn’t just located in your joint though; it’s also found in your nose and ears.


Ligaments are what your body uses to connect bones to other bones. They are tough and fibrous, much like tendons. 


Joints are the point in your body where several bones come together to form a specific type of movement. For example, your shoulder is a ball-and-socket joint, which allows movement and rotation. Your knee, on the other hand, is a hinge joint and allows movement, but not rotation,. 

Although the bones in your body provide shape and protect you from injury, they also provide stability to your muscles and tendons. All of the pieces in your musculoskeletal system work together to allow you to move and keep proper posture day-to-day.

Disorders that affect your musculoskeletal system

As you age, it’s no surprise that your joints, muscles, and cartilage deteriorate. Though aging does put you at a higher risk for certain musculoskeletal disorders, they aren’t necessarily bound to happen. 

Osteoarthritis is one of the most prevalent issues when it comes to joint health. It happens from the wear-and-tear on your joints over time. Osteoarthritis causes the cartilage in your joints to wear down, leading to your bones rubbing together and causing pain. Other problems that could affect your musculoskeletal system include:

Even though your age does raise your risk of developing these diseases, there are ways for you to decrease your risk. 

Risk factors for developing the above disorders include your occupation and your lifestyle. For example, if your occupation requires you to make repetitive motions or lift heavy objects on a regular basis, you’re at a much higher risk for the above disorders.

Posture is another key component of keeping your musculoskeletal system healthy. Keeping your posture straight whether you’re sitting or standing helps to keep any unnecessary  pressure off your joints and muscles.

Dr. Conliffe helps you keep your body healthy as well with physical medicine and routine manual manipulations. His treatments not only keep your body healthy, but also keep your joints moving as they should.

If you’re interested in keeping your musculoskeletal system in tip-top shape, call our office today at 502-771-1012, or book an appointment online with Dr. Conliffe using our booking tool.

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