Anatomy

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The Human Digestion Process (or, What Happens after You Eat Food)

Digestion is the process of changing food into a form that the body can absorb and use as energy or as the raw materials to repair and build new tissue. Digesting food is a two-part process that's half [more…]

Minerals, Hormones, and Your Ever-Changing Bones

You might think of your skeleton as a solid, unchanging structure that the softer bits of your anatomy cling to, but that isn't entirely the case. Bone is constantly reshaping itself in a complex process [more…]

Your Body’s Systems

Your body is made up of many systems, each having their own vital parts that work together. This list represents your bodily systems and the specific parts that comprise them: [more…]

What’s the Difference between a Strain, a Sprain, and a Fracture?

You jumped high and came down hard, but you got the interception. Unfortunately, you also got a very sore and swollen ankle. Now you’re left wondering if you’ve got a strain, a sprain, or fracture. [more…]

Finding Your Way around Your Body

When you develop a new health problem in a particular area of your body, it can help to know which structures are beneath your skin. The following diagrams give you some clues. [more…]

What Are the Major Cranial Nerves?

Twelve pairs of cranial nerves branch off the brain or brainstem and innervate many different places in the body. Some of them have motor functions, some have sensory functions, and a few have both. Here [more…]

Clinical Anatomy Terms to Describe the Eight Body Regions

In clinical anatomy the body is divided into eight regions. To understand how those anatomical regions relate to one another requires you to learn the terminology. Imagine the body standing in the following [more…]

Clinical Anatomy Terms that Describe Body Movement

Human anatomy allows for lots of movement. You use certain anatomical terms to describe how the parts of the body move. Think of a hinge — it opens and closes; it bends and straightens. Many parts of the [more…]

The Anatomy of Skin

The largest organ of your body is your skin (known as integument in the world of clinical anatomy). It includes the outer covering that protects your inside parts from the elements and from viruses and [more…]

A Clinical Look at Bone Composition and Structure

Your bones contain a matrix, osteoblasts, osteoclasts, osteocytes, and collagen fibers. Bones are hard structures because of the calcium that builds up in the matrix, but they retain a slight amount of [more…]

Clinical Anatomy Terms Describing Joints and Cartilage

A joint is the spot where two or more bones come together. Most joints allow for mobility, although several are fixed in their position. Joints are stabilized by ligaments and cartilage. Joints are classified [more…]

A Clinical Overview of Muscle Types

More than 600 muscles provide movement throughout the body. Cinical anatomy places muscles in three categories: skeletal muscle, cardiac muscle, and smooth muscle. Some muscle movements require a bit of [more…]

A Clinical Overview of the Nervous System

The nervous system is the control center for your body. It interprets the things your body senses, and it sends information to the muscles and glands, telling them what to do. It also runs the systems [more…]

Arteries: Moving Blood Away from the Heart

Your heart is responsible for circulating blood throughout your body via arteries. The aorta and pulmonary arteries are large vessels, but their branches [more…]

Capillaries and Veins: Returning Blood to the Heart

Capillaries feed the heart: They are the tiniest vessels that bridge the smallest arteries to small veins called venules. From there, blood passes into veins that serve as tributaries to larger veins before [more…]

What Is the Cardiovascular System?

The cardiovascular system is part of the larger circulatory system, which circulates fluids throughout the body. The circulatory system includes both the cardiovascular system and the lymphatic system. [more…]

Overview of the Respiratory System

The respiratory system like the cardiovascular system is all about moving stuff around. The cardiovascular system brings blood to every part of the body while the respiratory system focuses on the air [more…]

What Organs Are Part of the Lymphatic System?

The lymphatic system includes a system of lymphatic capillaries, vessels, nodes, and ducts that collects and transports lymph, which is a clear to slightly yellowish fluid, similar to the plasma in blood [more…]

Clinical Overview of the Lymphatic System

The lymphatic system includes a system of lymphatic capillaries, vessels, nodes, and ducts that collects and transports lymph, which is a clear to slightly yellowish fluid, similar to the plasma in blood [more…]

Clinical Overview of the Immune System

The immune system works hard to defend you from pathogens, including bacteria and viruses. It’s made up of leukocytes (white blood cells), proteins, and other tissues, including the lymphatic system. When [more…]

How Does Your Digestive System Break Down Food?

The function of the digestive system is to take food into your body, break it down into individual macronutrients (proteins, fats, and carbohydrates) and micronutrients [more…]

How the Urinary System Removes Waste

The urinary system filters waste from the blood and produces urine in the kidneys; then it removes the urine from the body. Adults produce about a quart and a half of urine every day, but that amount can [more…]

The Endocrine System: Controlling Hormone Production

The endocrine system is made up of glands that produce hormones and release them into the blood. The hormones cause certain reactions to occur in specific tissues. The endocrine system affects a large [more…]

Bones and Joints in the Thoracic Region

The thoracic cage is made up of bones and cartilage along with joints and an assortment of muscles and other soft tissues. The part that opens into the neck is called the superior thoracic aperture, and [more…]

Muscles in the Thoracic Region that Help You Breathe

Clinical anatomy identifies several muscles of the shoulder attached to the thoracic cage. The scalene muscles elevate the 1st and 2nd ribs and bend the neck to the side. So what’s left? The muscles of [more…]

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