March 9, 2008

Anatomy 101

Filed under: — Peter Laws @ 5:10 am


The body is divided by three imaginary planes (the sagittal, transverse, and frontal planes) as shown in the diagram.

  • The sagittal plane splits the body down the “midline,” or middle, dividing left from right.
    • Medial means closer to the midline or middle
    • Lateral means further from the midline.
  • The coronal or frontal plane is the division between the front and the back of the body.
    • Anterior or ventral means further forward.
    • Posterior or dorsal means further back.
  • The transverse plane divides superior part of the body (towards the top) from inferior (towards the bottom).
    • Superior or cranial means above the center of the body.
    • Inferior or caudal means below the center of the body.

Helpful Terms

  • Proximal – Closer to the center of the body.
  • Distal – Further from the center of the body.
  • Superficial – Closer to the skin.
  • Deep – Further from the skin.
  • Dorsal – Towards the back of the body.
  • Ventral – Towards the front of the body.
  • Pronate – Turn the palms up or the feet inward.
  • Supinate – Turn the palms down or the feet outward.
  • Inversion (Supination) – sole of foot turned medially
  • Eversion (Pronation) – sole of foot turned laterally
  • Abduction – To move away from the middle of the body.
  • Adduction – To move toward the middle of the body.
  • Extension – To straighten out a joint.
  • Flexion – To bend a joint.
  • Dorsiflexion – To bend the foot upward at the ankle.
  • Plantarflexion – To bend the foot downward at the ankle.
  • Protraction – movement anteriorly in the transverse plane
  • Retraction – movement posteriorly in the tranverse plane
  • Elevation – moving superiorly in the frontal plane (lifting)
  • Depression – moving inferiorly in the frontal plane (dropping)
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