Anatomy & Physiology

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POSITIONING, SPACE & BODY PLANES

This Anatomy lesson is based on Chapter I of the book “Anatomy of Movement”. Chapter I explains some general terms so we can build a common vocabulary and concepts about movement, and some common terms to describe the different parts of the body.

ANATOMICAL POSITION: See drawing in the book. Parallel feet, palms of the hand towards the front. This would be the only difference with Tadasana of Yoga.

PLANES OF MOVEMENTS: The movement of the joints occurs in three different planes, each one of them has one or two types of movements.
A. SAGITTAL PLANE:  It is the plane in which the movements are visible from the side. It divides the body into right and Left. Two of the movements of this plane are: flexion (bending the front of the body as a forward flexion) and the extension (bending the back part of the body, as a backward extension). Exceptions: knees and toes, which are in flexion when they are curved downwards and are extended when they are stretched outwards.
Name two postures which move in the sagittal plane.

B. FRONTAL PLANE: It is the plane in which the movements are visible, facing the front of the body.  It divides the body between front and back. The movements in this plane are: adduction (moving part of the body towards the medial line and abduction (moving part of the body away from the medial line).
Name two postures which move in the frontal plane.

C. TRANSVERSE PLANE: It is the plane which divides the body into superior part and inferior part and in which the movements are visible from upwards or from downwards., it includes the rotation movement.
Name two postures which move in the transverse plane.

Self Quiz: Why DO WE STUDY THE THREE PLANES OF MOVEMENT

  • They explain the possible movements of the body. Flexion is bending forward, extension is bending backwards, rotation is to rotate to one or the other side and also to bend lateral flexion is to bend the body in the frontal plane and away from the medial line towards one or the other side.
  • They also explain why an asana such as Trikonasana is so complex: you have to bend towards one side, flexion forward, rotation and backward extension, all in one posture.
  • We use these terms for movements to name the main groups of muscles: flexors of the hips, adductors, abductors, extensors of the spine, etc.
  • There are secondary alignment principles with the planes of movement. In the sagittal postures, we take our hips to the front, in the frontal postures, we do not do this.

ANATOMY & PHYSIOLOGY, Body Planes

ASSOCIATED MOVEMENTS

  • Flexion: Moves an area of the body forward.
  • Extension: Moves an area of the body backward.
  • Adduction: Moves an area of the body towards the medial line of the body.
  • Abduction: Moves an area of the body away from the medial line of the body.
  • Lateral inclination: Movement of the neck and the trunk on the frontal plane.
  • External Rotation: Moves a part of the body outwards and it places it out and away from the medial line.
  • Internal Rotation: Moves a part of the body inwards and it places it near the central axis.


Spacial cases of rotation: Trunk and neck towards right or left.

POSITION

  • Pronation: Position of one or all the parts of the body looking towards the floor. Example: the forearm.
  • Supination: Position of one or all the parts of the body looking upwards. Example: the forearm.

REFERENCE TERMS which describe the relative position of the structures.

  • Lateral: Away from the medial line of the body.
  • Medial: On the medial line or body axis or very near it.
  • Internal: Near the medial line of the body.
  • External: Away from the medial line of the body.
  • Anterior: Located at the front.
  • Posterior: Located at the back.
  • Proximal: Near the centre of the body or the trunk.
  • Distal: Away from the centre of the body or the trunk.
  • Superficial: Near the external surface of the body.
  • Deep: Towards the interior of the body.

Special cases:
Hands and feet have their central axis (sagittal plane) in the medial line or for the palms or soles of the foot, so abducting the small finger or toe means to place it away from the centre of the hand or foot.

Study guide
General Summary

  • Sagittal Plane: Divides the body into two halves: right and left.
  • Frontal Plane: Divides the body into the frontal half and the back half.
  • Transverse Plane: Divides the body into superior part and inferior part.


Self Quiz
Match the opposites
and describe an example of each of the terms explained before: Example: “The sacrum is medial to the hip joint. The big thumb is distal to the wrist”.


PELVIS, BIOMECHANICAL RELATIONS

The hip is the bone structure most important to the body, from which the freedom of the joints in the torso and the spine are born, therefore, the study of the hips is the starting point of our anatomical study. It is essential to understand how the hip is built in order to keep the integrity of the posture in the practice of asana. Study this section in the chapter of the Hips of the Book “Anatomy of Movement” pages 43 to 53.

The Word “pelvis” means “bowl or cup”. It is formed by various bones and joints. It has several important reference points to which we refer to when we give out our instructions.
(Stand up and feel them)

  • ILIAC CREST BONE, the curved part is the frontal protuberance.
  • ILEOS, are the bowl shaped bones at each side of the pelvis.
  • ASIS, is the antero-superior iliac spine , in the central part.
  • COTILO or ACETABULUM, is an area the shape of a hollow sphere.
  • PUBIS, is the frontal portion of the pelvis that unifies on both sides and forms the pubic symphysis, which is a partially mobile joint.
  • ISQUIONS, is the place of rest at the hip cup (where you sit).
  • SACRUM, triangular bone at the base of the spine between the two ilium bones.
  • COCCYX, is the distal end of the sacrum.
  • SACRO-ILIAC JOINT, is where the sacrum meets the ilium. It has an ear shape, This is the place of the pelvic girdle.

Biomechanical Relationship: The pelvic bones move when we do inner and outer spirals. They rock the pelvic girdle, and many of the major muscles of the lower part of the body originate in the pelvic bones.

Study guide
Palpation

1.Stand up and find the following reference marks in your own body: iliac crest, ASIS, isquions, coccyx, major trochanter, medium and lateral condilos of the femur and the patella.
2.Find a partner and identify in him/her the iliac crest, the ASIS, major trochanter and the sacrum-iliac holes.
Observe:
3.When in Tadasana, your partner’s pelvis bends forward or backwards? Is the middle of the hip joint in line with the middle of the knee and ankle?

THE FEMUR AND ITS ACTION ON THE HIPS
The insertion of the femur the ACETABULUM points downwards and forwards and the head of the femur points upwards and forwards. Commonly the femur is not secured in its socket. When you are on your hands and knees, the femur sits in its socket. When you are standing up, the femur (and legs) roll out and the bottom of the pelvis narrows. that is why internal rotation is applied in the Asanas.

Study guide
Self investigation
. use the book anatomy for the movement the Pelvis chapter.

  • The head of the femur fits in the acetabulum.
  • The Major Trochanter is the bone which you may feel at the side of your hip, and from there inwards and downwards from the ASIS, here you find the bowl of the hip.
  • The Minor Trochanter is a protuberance inside and behind the head of the femur. Muscles are rooted in both of them.
  • The Medial and Lateral Condyle form the upper part of the knee joint.

Reflect and write half page what has happened within the hips from when we finally stood up as apes until we became humans?

Biomechanical relationships investigate with the book anatomy for the movement:
The position of the femur, especially in the sagittal plane, is an important part of the optimal alignment.

  • The fibula is the longest bone and sometimes it is called the “shin”.
  • The two bones of the lower leg are the Fibula and the Peroneus.
  • The Peroneus is in the outer lower party of the leg.
  • The knee joint is formed by the femur, the fibula and the knee cup.The knee joint is supported by muscular tone and activating the tendons.
  • The loop of the shin and the loop of the thigh help to align the knee joint in the sagittal plane and prevents hyperextension.


Study guide
Study, assimilate and practice:
The femur and its action on the hips
Understand the relationship between the inner spiral and the head of the femur.

  • How the femur fits in the acetabulum.
  • The relative force of the outer rotators and the weakness of the inner rotators/adductors.
  • The tendon fibres of the knee pits are in outer rotation.


Practical: Show how to place the toes in the sacrum-iliac joint and check if it is blocked. Show how to adjust it with Inner Spiral and Outer Spiral. Check where they start and where they finish and their effects on the pelvis.

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