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Our remarkable bones!

There is a popular TV show called, “Bones”, about a forensic anthropologist and a cocky FBI agent who investigate death causes. Often there is nothing left to investigate except bones and what they can tell us long after we are gone. Our bones are amazing, and they can tell us many things.

What are our bones and what do they do?

Our bones comprise the frame that supports our bodies and gives us shape. Our bones also protect our vulnerable organs like our brains, heart and other organs. Our bones are connected through complex set ligaments, tendons, and muscles that enable us to move and complete tasks.
We are mammals, so we have an endoskeleton; it means that our frame is on the inside. Insects, on the other hand, have an exoskeleton, their skeleton is the hard shell on their outside.

Are bones strong and durable?

Oh yes! Our bones are very strong. Just think of Olympic athletes or weight lifters, and what they can do. Leonid Tarenenko, and very few others, can clean and jerk 266kg or 588 lbs from the floor, to above their head. Imagine the stress involved in the small bones in our vertebra, wrists, and shoulders, to move and support that much weight on a dead lift from the floor to an overhead position. Our bodies are amazing machines.
Our bones get stronger the more we use them. With use and activity, our bones become denser and harder. Some major league pitchers throwing arms have the twice the density and torsional bone strength of their non-throwing arm. Bones unearthed in a Viking grave in the UK found the shoulder and arm bones much denser and larger, on Viking bones because of their rowing activity. The shoulder socket was found to be as large as the hip socket from rowing activity involved in crossing the sea. Astronauts actually lose 14% to 30% of their bone density from weightlessness in outer space, depending on the length of time they are up there. Time spent in weightless space directly causes osteoporosis. So with our bones and bone strength, it’s use it or lose it.

human bones

What are bones made from?

Bones are made primarily from calcium phosphate and collagen. Bones grow and wear out constantly and the calcium phosphate and collagen has to be replenished by a diet rich in calcium. Some foods which are rich in calcium are canned salmon with the cooked bones, milk, cheese, spinach, broccoli, and other green leafy vegetables. We also need sufficient vitamin D, which enables our bodies to absorb the calcium phosphate turn it into bone cells in our bodies. So tell me… what do your bones reveal about you?

Want to find out more?

Physical activity when young provides lifelong benefits to cortical bone size and strength in men.
What will your skeleton say about you?

Helen Trowsdale, President of AA Care Services, is a nurse administrator with over 30 years of experience as a BSN, psychiatric nurse, and geriatric care manager with adults as well as pediatrics in hospitals, private duty home health care agencies, and residential home health care. Her team of caregivers are dedicated to serving their clients with home care in San Antonio, New Braunfels, and Austin; providing clients with consistent, quality care while minimizing the number of caregivers in the home. Learn more about AA Care Services.

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