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Osteopathy & Body Systems

Did you know that Osteopath’s treat more than just your muscles and joints? Osteopath’s not only look at the musculoskeletal system, but also treat through the other body systems help create optimal health!

Your body is made up of 11 different systems. Each one must work efficiently in order for your body to function as a unit. These working systems allow you to perform daily activities such eating, picking up your keys as you’re running out the door, working, driving, exercising or even fight off the winter cold.

Our body systems include:

1. Muscular system:
We have approximately 640 muscles in the human body which include three types of muscle; skeletal muscle, smooth muscle and cardiac muscle. These muscles assist with movement of the skeletal (body) system, moving substances through organs and pumping blood from the heart respectively.

2. Skeletal system:
We are born with 270 bones, however once we reach adulthood this decreases to 206 as some bones fuse together. These bones are connected by tendons, ligaments and cartilage. The skeletal systems function isn’t just to provide us with a framework to move, it also provides protection to our organs, produces blood cells and stores calcium.

3. Cardiovascular / Circulatory system:
Moves blood around the body delivering oxygen and nutrients to organs, muscles and cells and carrying their waste products away. It consists of the heart, blood, blood vessels, arteries, veins and capillaries.

4. Respiratory system:
This system allows us to breath – take in vital oxygen and expel carbon dioxide. It is comprised of the trachea, the diaphragm and the lungs.

5. Nervous system:
Collects and processes information from the senses via nerves and the brain and tells muscles to contract to cause physical actions. These can be voluntary action (conscious) or involuntary (like breathing). There are two types of systems; the central nervous system consisting of the brain and spinal cord.  Secondly the peripheral nervous system comprising of nerves connecting every other part of the body to the central nervous system.

6. Lymphatic system  /  Immune system:
This is the body’s defense mechanism that fight against bacteria, viruses and other pathogens that may be harmful to our body. The system consists of lymph nodes, spleen, bone marrow, lymphocytes (immune cells), the thymus and leukocytes (white blood cells). These are assisted around the body by lymph and pass through lymph nodes and lymph ducts. The lymphatic system also helps remove excess lymph fluid from bodily tissues, and returns it to the blood.

7. Digestive system  /  Excretory system:
A series of connected organs which allow the body to break down, absorb food, and remove waste. Follows the passing of food from the mouth, esophagus, stomach, small intestine, large intestine, rectum, and anus. Digestive enzymes produced by the liver, gall bladder and pancreas also play a role in the digestive system.

8. Endocrine system:
Provides chemical communications within the body by using hormones. These hormones can travel to different tissues and regulate various bodily functions. Hormones help control metabolism, growth and sexual function – and impact our moods and feeling of well being!

9. Integumentary system /  Exocrine system:
Comprising of skin, hair and nails, this system protects us from the outside world and is our first defense against pathogens. Our skin also helps regulate our body temperature and eliminate waste through perspiration.

10. Renal system  /  Urinary system:
The kidneys, ureters, bladder, sphincter muscles and urethra help us to eliminate waste (urea) from our body. Your kidneys filter all the blood in your body, approximately 4.7L.

11. Reproductive system:
Involves the sex organs allowing humans to reproduce.

So… Isn’t it impressive that for us to roll out of bed each morning to begin our day that we need every single one of these systems to be working efficitently and effectively?

As osteopath’s are very holistic and look at the whole body, your osteopath will not only look at your musculoskeletal system, but will take into account all the other systems and how to best work with them to aid the body in restoring it to its most optimal health and homeostasis.
Having an appreciation and awareness of how our bodies function will only enhance our need and capacity to care for it – and be aware of what pain may mean, what movements may be good or not, and how to understand how to best care for ourselves or the ones we love!

Dr. Catriona Bauld
B.Sci (Clin.Sci), M.H.S.(Osteo)
Member of Osteopathy Australia

Clinically Oriented Anatomy. K.L Moore, A.F. Dalley, A.M. Agur

This blog post is an educational tool only. 

It is not a replacement for medical advice from a registered and qualified doctor or health professional.

Categories: General Information