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Canadian Fitness Education Services (CFES)
Fitness Knowledge Homestudy Program

Chapter 2 The Skeletal System

Connective Tissue

The body contains more connective tissue than any other type. It is composed of a combination of cells and matrix (gel, fluid or ground substances) and it serves to:

     Transport blood (in blood vessels)

      Strengthen and support the body (tendons and ligaments)

      Organize structures in the body (muscles)

      Store energy (fat, adipose tissue).

 

The three types of fibers in connective tissue matrix include:

Collagen Fibers

   Found in bone, cartilage, tendons and ligaments

   Provide strength and resistance to pulling forces

 

Elastic Fibers

   Found in lungs, skin, and blood vessel walls

   Can be stretched up to 150 percent without breaking

 

Reticular Fiber

   Form branching networks around skeletal and smooth muscle, fat and nerve cells and the covering around many soft organs like the spleen and lymph nodes

 

There are six different types of connective tissue in   the human body; Blood,   Lymph, Loose, Dense, Cartilage and Bone. The last three are involved in human   movement.

 

Bones

The bones form the structural framework of the body and its system of levers.

 

Cartilage

Cartilage is a component of many joint structures and it also provides shock absorption and cushioning (e.g. the intervert-ebral discs of the spine).

 

 

Tendons and Ligaments

Tendons and ligaments are dense connective tissues which attach muscles to bones and provide structural support to joints. They are extremely strong and not easy to stretch.

 

Tendons

   The connective tissues of muscle extend beyond both ends of     the muscle to form the tendons

   The tendon connects to the outer layer of bone, cartilage or     other muscles

   There are different shapes of tendons for different needs

   Tendons can be ruptured but they are much stronger than        the muscle and the periosteum (outer layer) of the bone, so   under high forces, these areas tend to be injured first 4

 

Ligaments

   Ligaments are strong, but less elastic than tendons (theye      less likely to return to their normal resting length when           overstretched) and they are more   prone to tearing than          tendons

   Ligaments can be permanently lengthened if kept in a             stretched position for long periods of time (for example poor    posture, biomechanics or overstretching). 4

   The strength of ligaments is a key factor in holding synovial     joints together

    Ligaments can be found both inside and outside the                synovial joint capsule (for example, in the knee the anterior     and posterior cruciate ligaments, are inside and the medial     and lateral ligaments are outside the joint capsule)