How Does the Pivot Joint Work?

Pivot joints work by allowing rotation around an axis. Pivot joints are able to work by consisting of several key elements, such as cartilage, tendons, ligaments and bursa.

There is a pivot joint along the top of the spine. This joint allows the head to move from side to side. Pivot joints are only allowed to move along an axis. According to HowStuffWorks, there are 68 total joints in the human body, which all consist of the same elements.

One of the elements that the joints consists of is bone. The bones that make up joints are called articular cartilage, which prevents bones from getting damaged when they are in contact with each other.

Joints also consist of skeletal muscles that connect to the bones through tendons. Tendons, flexible tough tissue, pull on bones when the muscle contracts or lengthens. Similar to tendons are ligaments, which have the sole purpose of making sure that bones stay in place when they meet together and form a joint.

Around each joint is a synovial membrane and a bursa sac. Both of these produce special types of lubricant. Bursa lubricant is designed to ease the movement of muscle against other muscles or bones. The synovial membrane lubricates the joints and provides nourishment to the cartilage around them.