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Your joints are the connections between your different bones that enable you to move.  There are many different types of joints in the human body, and different classifications according to how they move, and the materials they are made of.  Here are the major types of joints in our bodies based on movement.


Ball and Socket Joints – These joints are easy to understand.  They comprise a ball of bone that fits into a socket of bone and cartilage.  Because the balls are almost spheres, these joints can move around in many directions.  They’re found where the top of your arm meets your shoulder, and where the top of your leg fits into your hip.

Pivot Joints – Pivot means “turn back and forth along a single plane” and the pivot joint where you head meets your neck allows your head to do just that.  There are also pivot joints connecting your forearms at the elbows, letting you turn your hands forward and back.

Gliding Joints – These joints move just like they sound – flat bones glide past each other to allow for movement. Gliding joints can be found in your wrists and ankles.

Hinge Joints – Hinge joints move just like the hinges on a door.  The hinge joints in your knees and elbows allow your legs and arms to bend open and closed, but they can’t rotate.

Ellipsoidal Joints – Look at the way your finger moves when you bend it, and then when you waggle it back and forth.  The joint at the base of your fingers and toes can bend up and down, and roll side to aide, but they can’t rotate very well.

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