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The Aging Process of the Skeletal System
There are about 206 bones in the human body, they have the function of protecting and preserving the shape of soft tissues. The skeleton provides a framework for the muscles, it controls and directs internal pressure and provides stability anchoring points for other soft tissues. In addition the skeletal system stores and produces blood cells in the bone marrow(1).
After the age of 30 bones start to deteriorate, which means our bone density will decrease, bones will become thinner and more fragile, bones will start to lose calcium and other minerals, posture will become progressively hunched over, joints will come inflamed and less flexible, joints will also become stiff due to mineral deposits
Skeletal Changes from Childhood to Adulthood:(2)
A. Infancy and Childhood
change size and proportion
growth in length is cartilage of epiphyseal disc
growth hormone plays a major role
it stimulates cartilage
head becomes proportionally smaller
facial bones become more prominent
pelvis larger and wide
legs proportionally longer
vertebral colunm develops two addtional curves
cervical curve- 3months; lifts head
lumbar- 1 year; standing and walking
sex hormones stimulate ossification
facial features develop rapidly
producing masculine and feminine features of the skeleton
male- deep anf funnel shaped
whole skeleton larger and heavier
female- shallow, broader and flaring
C. Adulthood (bone maintenance and remodeling)
bones are constantly adapting to stresses
reaction to mechanical stresses strengthens weak areas
old bone is removed to reduce bulk
minerals are added or removed from reservoir as Calcium is metabolized
99% of the body's Calcium is in bone
two hormones involved
stim bone destruction (osteoclasts)
stim bone formation (osteoblasts)
D. Old Age
reabsorption outweighs growth
bones become brittle causing a desease called osteoporosis
shaggy margins, spurs, joint problems
cartilage keeps growing
Individual Aging Process
Maintaining a Healthy Skeletal System
Bone mass is a important to the health of the skeletal system. Certain nutrients are need to improve bone mass. These nutrients include: calcium, vitamin A, vitamin C, vitamin D and protein. Eat and drinking food like milk, eggs, lean meats, yogurt, apples, oranges, grapefruit, spinach, and broccoli will help increase bone mass.
Edited by Deborah Logan
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