To provide a basic overview of the
muscles, bones and soft tissue of the
body, so you can become familiar with
their names and their function(s).
 A&P class will cover in more depth, as will
Massage B in second semester.
 Tip: the more you study them, the easier
it will become over the next few months
to piece your knowledge together!
• Joints
• Ligaments
The 206 bones of
the skeleton are
divided into two
sections –
• Axial skeleton,
which contains the
skull, vertebral
column (spine),
sternum and ribs.
• Appendicular
containing the
shoulder girdle,
pelvic girdle, upper
limbs and lower
Enables movement
 Provides protection for organs and
internal structures
 Produces blood cells (in bone marrow)
 Stores minerals, eg calcium, phosphorus,
sodium, magnesium
 Provides attachment for muscles
(important for massage therapists for
palpation and assessment purposes)
Also known as arthroses
 Various types, depending on the action
of the joint
 Where two or more bones connect, is
called an articulation.
 Ligaments connect bone to bone, to
form a joint
 Allow range of motion (ROM) or
movement and flexibility.
Is avascular (no blood supply), tough,
protective tissue capable of withstanding
repeated stress
 Found mainly in the chest, joints and certain
rigid tubes of the body (eg larynx, trachea,
nose, ears) to provide a supported
 Most common form of cartilage is that
which is found at the ends of bones to
provide a smooth surface for movement.
 The discs between vertebrae and also
between the pubic bone are forms of
cartilage, as are the external structures of
the ears and nose.
Muscles are extremely
elastic, very vascular
and have the unique
ability to contract
and stretch to
provide movement.
There are 3 main
• Smooth (involuntary)
• Cardiac
• Skeletal (voluntary)
The Muscular system
comprises of –
Skeletal muscles
Related fascia
Tendons – attach
muscle to bone
Motion (the body moving its parts) and
Locomotion (the body moving as a
 Motility – when the smooth muscles of
internal organs produce movement.
 Heat production – assisting metabolism
and homeostasis
 Maintaining posture and joint stability
There are approx 640 skeletal muscles in the
human body!
ORIGIN: the attachment of the muscle to
the least movable bone. Usually located
on the medial or proximal aspect.
 INSERTION: the attachment of the
muscle at the most movable bone site,
often on the distal or lateral aspect.
 ACTION: what movement(s) the muscle
performs, eg flexion, extension, rotation.
 INNERVATION: the nerve supply for that
Anatomical Position:
For medical reference purposes the parts
of the human body are described in
relation to other parts of the body using
a standard body position, known as the
Anatomical position.
The body is erect and facing forward, the
arms are at the side of the body with
palms facing forward and the feet are
placed about hip distance apart, with
toes facing forward.
Physical observation / assessment are
based on this standard position.
Our bodies are 3Dimensional and are
likewise referred to in
specific sections, or
Sagittal (or Median) Plane: runs vertically
down the body, from front to back. Cuts
the body into left and right sides.
 Coronal (or Frontal) Plane: passes
vertically through the body from side to
side, creating front and back.
 Transverse (or Horizontal) Plane: passes
horizontally through the body, creating
upper and lower sections.
Anterior (Ventral) – front
 Posterior (Dorsal) – back
 Medial – toward or near the midline of
the body
 Lateral – to the side or away from midline
 Superior – above, or toward the head
 Inferior – below, or toward the feet
 Proximal – nearer to the point of
 Distal – further from the point of reference
Homolateral (Ipsilateral) – related to the
same side of the body
 Contralateral – related to the opposite
side of the body
 Superficial (Peripheral) – the outside
surface, or surrounding area
 Central (Deep) – situated at the centre
of the body or structure
 Internal – within or inside
 External – outside or outer surface.
Flexion – to bend or decrease the angle
of a joint. Either forward or lateral.
 Extension – to straighten or increase the
angle of a joint. Hyperextension is going
beyond anatomical position.
 Abduction – movement away from the
 Adduction – movement towards the
 Supination – lateral (outward) rotation of
the forearm (palms up...soup bowl!)
Pronation – medial (inward) rotation of
the forearm (palms down)
 Plantarflexion – extension of the ankle so
that toes are pointing downward
 Dorsiflexion – flexing the ankle to that
toes are pulled back towards shin.
 Inversion – turning the sole of the foot
 Eversion – turning the sole of the foot
Rotation – circular movement when a
bone moves around its own axis.
 Circumduction – when the distal end
moves in a circle and proximal end
remains relatively fixed (shoulder, hip,
 Elevation – raising or lifting a body part,
moving superiorly
 Depression – lowering or dropping a
body part, moving inferiorly
Protraction – moving forward, or
 Retraction – moving backward, or
 Opposition – when thumb moves toward
any other digit on same hand.
 Lateral deviation – side-to-side
movement (usually in reference to jaw)