Get your Health question answered in 3 easy steps
A Doctor will be with you shortly
Ask a Doctor Now
199 Doctors are Online

Information on how the musculoskeletal system changes from birth to adulthood?

User rating for this question
Very Good
Answered by

General & Family Physician
Practicing since : 2006
Answered : 567 Questions
I am writing an essay on how the musculoskeletal system changes from bith to adulthood, and the steps that the system goes thru my book only goes so far in explaining the subject.
Posted Thu, 15 Aug 2013 in Bones, Muscles and Joints
Answered by Dr. Jay Patel 4 hours later

I am dr XXXXXXX and I will try my level best to help you.

So you need help in completing your essay on changes in musculoskeletal system at various ages.

I don't know what you do need specifically but here are the thing which can be used and you can elaborate it in your own words and let me know if you need more information then written below.
Some muscle and bone conditions common in older age

Nearly half of all people over the age of 75 years have some kind of disability. Common conditions affecting muscles and the skeleton, or the musculoskeletal system, in older people include:
Osteoarthritis – the cartilage within the joint breaks down, causing pain and stiffness.
Osteomalacia – the bones become soft, due to problems with the metabolism of vitamin D.
Osteoporosis – the bones lose mass and become brittle. Fractures are more likely.
Rheumatoid arthritis – inflammation of the joints.
Muscle weakness and pain – any of the above conditions can affect the proper functioning of the associated muscles.

Age-related changes in muscle

Muscle loses size and strength as we get older, which can contribute to fatigue, weakness and reduced tolerance to exercise. This is caused by a number of factors working in combination, including:
Muscle fibres reduce in number and shrink in size.
Muscle tissue is replaced more slowly and lost muscle tissue is replaced with a tough, fibrous tissue.
Changes in the nervous system cause muscles to have reduced tone and ability to contract.

Age-related changes in bone

Bone is living tissue. As we age, the structure of bone changes and this results in loss of bone tissue. Low bone mass means bones are weaker and places people at risk of breaks from a sudden bump or fall.

Bones become less dense as we age for a number of reasons, including:
An inactive lifestyle causes bone wastage.
Hormonal changes – in women, menopause triggers the loss of minerals in bone tissue. In men, the gradual decline in sex hormones leads to the later development of osteoporosis.

Bones lose calcium and other minerals.


Age-related changes in joints

In a joint, bones do not directly contact each other. They are cushioned by cartilage that lines your joints (articular cartilage), synovial membranes around the joint and a lubricating fluid inside your joints (synovial fluid). As you age, joint movement becomes stiffer and less flexible because the amount of lubricating fluid inside your joints decreases and the cartilage becomes thinner.
Ligaments also tend to shorten and lose some flexibility, making joints feel stiff.

Many of these age-related changes to joints are caused by lack of exercise. Movement of the joint, and the associated ‘stress’ of movement, helps keep the fluid moving. Being inactive causes the cartilage to shrink and stiffen, reducing joint mobility.


Please let me know if you need any information in detail.

Hope it will satisfy your current need to complete essay.

Thanks for the query.
Above answer was peer-reviewed by
Share on Facebook
Share on Twitter
Share on Google+
Question is related to
Diseases and Conditions
Medical Topics

The user accepted the expert's answer

Ask an Orthopaedic Surgeon

© Ebix, Inc. All Rights Reserved.
All the information, content and live chat provided on the site is intended to be for informational purposes only, and not a substitute for professional or medical advice. You should always speak with your doctor before you follow anything that you read on this website. Any health question asked on this site will be visible to the people who browse this site. Hence, the user assumes the responsibility not to divulge any personally identifiable information in the question. Use of this site is subject to our Terms & Conditions
Already Rated.
Your rating:

Ask a Doctor