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Anatomy and Physiology: Anatomical Position and Directional Terms

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❶Commit these terms to memory to avoid confusion when you are studying or describing the locations of particular body parts.

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Directional terms
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Im currently in class. I am probably over thinking, but need to clarify…. This has really helped me in my study of anatomy as regards the four quadrants. One thing was that some organs were appearing almost at each quadrant,i wish i could understand why. So if you have ideas, articles, news, questions, comments we would love to hear from you. If you want to contribute tutorials, news or other stuff please Contact Us. Got a great idea or want information about a special topic?

If you like what we do, please don't hestitate to subscribe to our RSS Feed. All content has been filed with the U. Content on the site is protected by Copyscape. The thoracic cavity is open at the top and the abdominal cavity is open at the bottom.

Both cavities are bound on the back by the spine. Even though their location is defined, the shape of these cavities can change. How they change is very different.

Breathing is the main way the shape of these two cavities changes. The abdominal cavity changes shape similar to a water-filled balloon.

When you squeeze the balloon, the shape changes as the balloon bulges. The abdominal cavity can also change shape based on volume—that is how much you eat and drink. The more you eat and drink, the harder it is for the diaphragm to compress the abdominal cavity—which is why it is harder to breathe after a large meal. Also, an increase in volume of the abdominal cavity decreases the volume in the thoracic cavity—you can take in less air.

The thoracic cavity changes both shape and volume when you breathe. When you breathe out, the volume decreases; when you breathe in the volume increases. Because of how these two cavities are linked together in shape change, you can see that the quality of breathing affects the health of abdominal organs and the health of our organs affects the quality of our breathing.

Share on Facebook Share. Share on Twitter Tweet. The elbow is proximal to the wrist. The wrist is proximal to the fingers. The word central is also related. Superficial Nearer to the surface of the body, in relation to another structure. The trapezius is a superficial muscle of the back.

Superior Above another structure, toward the head, cephalic. The clavicle is superior to the sternum. Ventral Relating to the belly or the abdomen , the opposite of dorsal when referring to the body. The chest, abdomen, and quadriceps of the thigh are all ventral. Volar Relating to the palm of the hand or sole of the foot, and the portion of the wrist and sometimes forearm, that corresponds to the palm of the hand.

The opposite of dorsal when referring to the hands and feet. Also the term palmar is sometimes used, corresponding with the palm of the hand, and plantar is used for the sole of the foot. The thenar eminence is on the volar aspect of the hand.

Toward the front of the body or in front of another structure. The pectoralis major is anterior to the scapula, the quadriceps is on the anterior part of the thigh and anterior to the femur.

The kneecap patella is anteroinferior to the femur Anterolateral: In front and to the side outside , away from the midline Example: The sternocleidomastoid is in the anterolateral region of the neck Anteromedial: In front and toward the midline ExampleThe vastus medialis muscle is in the anteromedial region of the thigh Anterosuperior: In front and above, toward the head Example: The kneecap patella is anterosuperior to the tibia Bilateral: On both sides of the body, relative to the midline.

Toward the tailbone but sometimes used to mean the same thing as inferior, or toward the feet 2 See inferior. Above another structure, superior, toward the head, pertaining to the head See superior.

Pertaining to the opposite side Example: The side of the brain that controls the right hand is contralateral to that hand. Away from the surface of the body, further away from the surface than another structure Example: The bones are deep to the skin. Away from the midline or trunk. Relating to the back, posterior. Below another structure, toward the feet Example: The knee is inferior to the thigh. On the same side Example: When the splenius muscles contract on one side, ipsilateral rotation and lateral flexion of the neck occurs.

To the side or on the side, away from the midline median or midsagital plane Example: The illotibial band is on the lateral portion of the thigh. Relating to the middle or midline. Behind, toward the back, to the rear in relation to another structure. Behind and below, below and behind another structure. The soleus muscle is on the posteroinferior part of the leg. Behind and to the side, away from the midline outside.

Behind and toward the midline to the inside. Behind and above, toward the head. Closer to the midline or trunk. Nearer to the surface of the body, in relation to another structure.

Above another structure, toward the head, cephalic. Relating to the belly or the abdomen, the opposite of dorsal when referring to the body. Relating to the palm of the hand or sole of the foot, and the portion of the wrist and sometimes forearm, that corresponds to the palm of the hand. Manual of Structural Kinesiology.

Fundamentals of Sports Injury Management. The term "caudal" is used occasionally in reference to human anatomy but it is uncommon. The term caudal , together with rostral , makes more sense in quadrupeds and fish where they would replace the terms anterior and posterior , which would correspond to ventral and dorsal. Although the terms are sometimes used interchangeably, technically, the sagital plane is any plane drawn parallel to the sagittal suture, but not necessarily intersecting it.

The term superior refers to a structure that is above another, as in the head is superior to the neck. The term superficial refers to a structure that is closer to the surface of the body than another structure, as in the skin is superficial to the muscles. Because which part of the wrist is deemed to be on the outside will change depending on the position of the hands, when referenced.

Can you name the anatomical directional terms?

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Anatomical directional terms are like the directions on a compass rose of a map. Like the directions, North, South, East and West, they can be used to describe the locations of structures in relation to other structures or locations in the body.

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DIRECTIONAL TERMS FOR ANATOMY AND PHYSIOLOGY 1 Anatomy- DIRECTIONAL TERMS study guide by dawnroberts includes 13 questions covering vocabulary, terms and more. Quizlet flashcards, activities and games help you improve your grades.

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Anatomical position and directional terms The healthcare industry has its own terminology, especially anatomy and physiology. In order to provide exquisite care and understand the inner workings of the human body, anatomical terminology is a necessity. Directional terms describe the positions of structures relative to other structures or locations in the body. Superior or cranial - toward the head end of the body; upper (example, the hand is part of the superior extremity).

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If the anatomical position is placed face-down, it is in the prone position. If the anatomical position is placed face-up, it is in the supine position. Up, Down, Side-to-Side: Directional Terms. Imagine that when you’re studying a (correctly anatomically positioned) body you’re looking at a map. Common Terms • abdominal = region between thorax and pelvis. • antebrachial = the forearm. • antecubital = the front of elbow. • axillary = the armpit. • brachial = the upper arm. • celiac = the abdomen. • cephalic = the head. • cervical = the neck. • costal = the ribs. • cubital = the elbow. • femoral = the thigh. • gluteal = the buttock.