Basic Anatomical Terminology in a Nutshell
- Defines relationships of all structures in the body
- Standing, looking forward, toes parallel (pointed forward)
- Palms facing forward (not most relaxed position) thumb lateral, little finger medial
- Median plane: pass vertically through the body diving body into Right and Left portions. Goes right down the middle, cutting the nose in half. Becomes the midline / Midsaggital section. Sometimes called “midsaggital” plane as opposed to a sagittal plane which means cuts down the middle only not at the midline.
- Frontal plane: AKA coronal plane. vertical plane divides the body into front and back sections (anterior/posterior).
- Horizontal plane: AKA transverse plane, perpendicular to other 2 planes. Have upper and lower portions (superior/inferior) & Sometimes called cross-sections.
1 – frontal; 2 – sagittal; 3 – horizontal
Terms of orientation
- Anterior: front of body = ventral.
- Posterior: the back of the body = dorsal
- Superior: toward the head = cranial
- Inferior: toward the feet = caudal
- Medial: toward the midline
- Lateral: Away from the midline
- Internal: toward the core/center
- External: away from the core/center
- Superficial: toward the surface
- Deep: away from the surface
- Intermediate: between the two
- Proximal: closer to the point of origin/point of attachment
- Distal: away from the origin/point of attachment
Terms of Movement
- Flexion: to move so that you decrease the angle between two bones/bending.
- Extension: To increase the angle between two bones / straighten
- Abduction: moving a structure (limb/muscle) away from the midline
- Adduction: moving a structure toward the midline (“add” = “add to the body”)
- Rotation: movement around the long axis. Such as pivoting the head.
- Circumduction: movement is circular that would scribe a cone, such as a crescent kick
- Supination: (forearm) = rotation of the forearm so that the palm is turned up
- Pronation: Rotation of the forearm so that the palm is turned down
- Dorsiflexion: (ankle) = movement that brings the toes up
- Plantar flexion: = push toes down
- Inversion: (ankle) = turning the sole of the foot medially
- Eversion: = turning the sole of the foot laterally / outward.
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