The Basics of Anatomy


Anatomical Planes

There are three planes commonly used when describing the body:

Sagittal Plane
Vertical line dividing the body into left & right

Coronal Plane
Vertical line dividing the body into front (anterior) and back (posterior)

Transverse Plane
Horizontal line dividing the body into upper (superior) and lower (inferior).

 


ABDUCTION, ADDUCTION, AND ROTATION Abduction and adduction are two terms that are used to describe movements towards or away from the midline of the body. Medial and lateral rotation describe movement of the limbs around their long axis: Abduction is a movement away from the midline – just as abducting someone is to take them away. For example, abduction of the shoulder raises the arms out to the sides of the body. Adduction is a movement towards the midline. Adduction of the hip squeezes the legs together. Medial rotation is a rotational movement towards the midline. It is sometimes referred to as internal rotation. To understand this, we have two scenarios to imagine. Firstly, with a straight leg, rotate it to point the toes inward. This is medial rotation of the hip. Secondly, imagine you are carrying a tea tray in front of you, with elbow at 90 degrees. Now rotate the arm, bringing your hand towards your opposite hip (elbow still at 90 degrees). This is internal rotation of the shoulder. Lateral rotation is a rotating movement away from the midline. This is in the opposite direction to the movements described above.

ABDUCTION, ADDUCTION, AND ROTATION

Abduction and adduction are two terms that are used to describe movements towards or away from the midline of the body. Medial and lateral rotation describe movement of the limbs around their long axis:

Abduction is a movement away from the midline – just as abducting someone is to take them away. For example, abduction of the shoulder raises the arms out to the sides of the body.

Adduction is a movement towards the midline. Adduction of the hip squeezes the legs together.

Medial rotation is a rotational movement towards the midline. It is sometimes referred to as internal rotation. To understand this, we have two scenarios to imagine. Firstly, with a straight leg, rotate it to point the toes inward. This is medial rotation of the hip. Secondly, imagine you are carrying a tea tray in front of you, with elbow at 90 degrees. Now rotate the arm, bringing your hand towards your opposite hip (elbow still at 90 degrees). This is internal rotation of the shoulder.

Lateral rotation is a rotating movement away from the midline. This is in the opposite direction to the movements described above.

FLEXION AND EXTENSION Flexion and extension are movements that occur in the sagittal plane. They refer to increasing and decreasing the angle between two body parts Flexion refers to a movement that decreases the angle between two body parts. Flexion at the elbow is decreasing the angle between the ulna and the humerus. When the knee flexes, the ankle moves closer to the buttock, and the angle between the femur and tibia gets smaller. Extension refers to a movement that increases the angle between two body parts. Extension at the elbow is increasing the angle between the ulna and the humerus. Extension of the knee straightens the lower limb.

FLEXION AND EXTENSION

Flexion and extension are movements that occur in the sagittal plane. They refer to increasing and decreasing the angle between two body parts

Flexion refers to a movement that decreases the angle between two body parts. Flexion at the elbow is decreasing the angle between the ulna and the humerus. When the knee flexes, the ankle moves closer to the buttock, and the angle between the femur and tibia gets smaller.

Extension refers to a movement that increases the angle between two body parts. Extension at the elbow is increasing the angle between the ulna and the humerus. Extension of the knee straightens the lower limb.

 
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