Regions of the Torso
The torso, or trunk, of your body includes everything except your limbs, head and neck. To locate anatomical landmarks on the torso, doctors and anatomists divide it into regions. The two major regions are the thoracic, or chest region, and the abdominal region. Each of these regions is subdivided into smaller regions. Two different grid systems are used to name the regions of the abdomen.
The thoracic region is the area above the diaphragm. It includes the sternal region, which lies over the sternum, or breastbone, and the pectoral region, which includes the chest muscles and ribcage on either side of the sternum. The axillary region is the area around the armpit. The acromial region is the top of the shoulder.
The abdomen is divided into nine regions, defined by four lines forming a tic-tac-toe-like grid. The two horizontal lines are aligned with the bottom of the ribcage and the top of the pelvis, respectively. The two vertical lines run through the center of each collarbone. The central area around the navel is the umbilical region. To the right and left are the lateral regions. Above the umbilical region is the epigastric region and below is the hypogastric, or pubic, region. The upper-right and upper-left sections are the hypochondriac regions, while the lower-right and lower-left sections are the inginual regions.
Simplified Abdominal Regions
Doctors also sometimes use a simplified quadrant system to subdivide the abdominal region. In this scheme, two lines oriented at right angles to one another bisect the navel. One line runs horizontally and the other vertically, creating four quadrants: the right and left upper-abdominal quadrant and the right and left lower-abdominal quadrant.
Regions of the Back
The back is called the dorsum. It is also divided into several subregions. The vertebral region runs along the length of the spine. The scapular region is the area of the shoulder blades. The interscapular region lies between the shoulder blades. The lumbar region is located on the lower back, to either side of the vertebral region. The sacral region overlies the sacrum, or back of the pelvis. The gluteal region is the area of the buttocks.
- Anatomy and Physiology: The Unity of Form and Function; Kenneth Saladin
- Human Anatomy and Physiology; Elaine N. Marieb
Joe Miller started writing professionally in 1991. He specializes in writing about health and fitness and has written for "Fit Yoga" magazine and the New York Times City Room blog. He holds a master's degree in applied physiology from Columbia University, Teacher's College.