JOINTS AND MUSCLES Muscles, bones, and joints form the crux of our internal support system. These components protect our internal organs while allowing our bodies to move in myriad ways. Tissues called ligaments bind our bones together at joints, while tendons anchor muscles to bones. Muscles come in three forms: skeletal, cardiac, and smooth. Good nutrition and exercise are vital to keeping these important parts of the body strong. Age and use are rarely kind to these structures. For all their strength and flexibility, they can be damaged. Muscles can be overstretched, bruised, or torn. Bones can be weakened, tendons bruised and torn. Joints can be strained, sprained, or dislocated. They are also targets for inflammatory, degenerative, and autoimmune diseases, such as osteoarthritis and rheumatoid arthritis. Ancient healers invariably turned to plants for solutions to these problems, often applying herbal preparations to the skin. Many herbs are still used by modern practitioners.