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How do joints work?

Dr. Mehmet Oz, MD
Cardiology (Cardiovascular Disease)
The simple physiology of almost all of our joints is this: They link one bone to another to allow us to move at the point of connection-the way a hinge connects a door to a wall. Made up of ligaments and cartilage, joints are well-lubed to keep your bones moving smoothly. They're also unique in that they're not all door hinges-swinging back and forth in a two-dimensional motion. Also, they all must balance two opposing forces-stability versus mobility.

Three joints-the knee, hip, and shoulder-are typically considered our body's most important joints, and they're all constructed differently to customize the relationship between mobility and stability. While the shoulder joint is the most mobile joint in the body (look how many ways you can turn and swing your arms), the hip joint is the most stable (for good reason, to carry you everywhere).
YOU: The Owner's Manual, Updated and Expanded Edition: An Insider's Guide to the Body that Will Make You Healthier and Younger

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YOU: The Owner's Manual, Updated and Expanded Edition: An Insider's Guide to the Body that Will Make You Healthier and Younger

Between your full-length mirror and high-school biology class, you probably think you know a lot about the human body. While it's true that we live in an age when we're as obsessed with our bodies as...

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Important: This content reflects information from various individuals and organizations and may offer alternative or opposing points of view. It should not be used for medical advice, diagnosis or treatment. As always, you should consult with your healthcare provider about your specific health needs.