Each component of a joint has its own purpose. The bones themselves provide the skeletal structure for your body. Cartilage acts as a shock absorber between the bones during impact to the joint, while the bursae cushion the other components of a joint from interacting with each other. Ligaments attach the two or more bones together to prevent dislocation, while tendons connect muscle to a bone. The muscles are essential for movement and determine the flexibility and range of motion of the joint.