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Directional Terms Used in Association with the Body

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1 Directional Terms Used in Association with the Body
Anatomical Terminology

2 Directional Planes One of the first things that you will notice about the diagram is that the body has been divided up by three 'planes' which are like panes of glass inserted through the body

3 Directional Planes The plane which divides the body into a right and a left half is known as the median or the saggital plane. Vertical planes at right angles to the saggital plane divides the body into a front and a back and are described as coronal or frontal planes. Finally the body is divided into upper and lower portions by horizontal or transverse planes which are at right angles to both the frontal and saggital planes.

4 Purpose Planes are used to describe movement, for example, when you turn your head from right to left then your nose moves in a horizontal plane. When you bend forwards and backwards from the hips, your trunk moves in a saggital plane When you lift your arm up out to the side of your body then your hand moves in a frontal plane. Planes are also used when describing sections through the body

5 Sectional Cuts In the picture on the right, the heart has been sectioned (cut through) in the frontal plane. The skull on the left has been sectioned in the horizontal plane and you can see downwards towards the base of the skull In this saggital section, made through the head and  neck  you can clearly see each vertebrae and the spinal cord.

6 Directional Terms/Positions
Anterior - the front surface of the body or structure, the term is also used to describe the relationship of structures within the body. For example, the sternum is anterior to the heart so anterior also means towards the front. The heart will also have an anterior surface. Posterior - the back surface of the body and towards the back of the body. For example, the spine is posterior to the heart and the heart has a posterior surface

7 Superior- The upward surface, toward the head
Inferior- The downward surface. For example, the top of the head is a superior surface, the soles of the feet an inferior surface. The terms are not meant to be judgmental !

8 Medial - Towards the middle or towards the median plane.
Lateral - Away from the middle or away from the median plane. Cranial - Towards the head. Caudal - towards the buttocks

9 Central - Towards the centre of the body e.g. Central Nervous System i.e. the brain and spinal cord.
Peripheral - Towards the surface of the body e.g. Peripheral Nervous System i.e. the nerves.

10 Proximal - Towards the point of attachment of the limb to the body, lying near the point of reference. Distal - Further away from the trunk, lying further from the point of reference. Dorsal - Towards the back. Ventral - Towards the front/abdomen

11 Anterior landmarks Digital Pubic Femoral Sternal Fibular Tarsal
Abdominal Acromial Antecubital Brachial Buccal Carpal Cervical Coxal Crural Digital Pubic Femoral Sternal Fibular Tarsal Inguinal Thoracic Nasal Umbilical Oral Orbital Patellar Pelvic

12 Posterior landmarks Calcaneal Cephalic Deltoid Femoral Gluteal Lumbar
occipital Olecranal Popliteal Sacral Scapular Sural Vertebral Plantar


14 Body cavities Dorsal Ventral Cranial Spinal Thoracic Abdominopelvic
Abdominal pelvic

15 Abdominopelvic surface and cavity

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