Learning Modules - Medical Gross Anatomy
Movements of the Upper Limb - Page 1 of 18

Movements of the Upper Limb - Introduction

This module presents the nomenclature of movement at the joints of the upper limb. When you first approach the upper limb, concentrate on the motions and less on the names of muscles producing those motions. After your study of the upper limb, use this module to review and summarize muscle actions in the upper limb.

The upper limb is our primary tool for manipulating the environment, and therefore it is highly mobile. There is a great number of joints within the entire upper limb, allowing for this great mobility.

In comparing the upper and lower limbs, it is evident that the upper limb is specialized as the organ of manipulation, and the lower limb serves for locomotion. To serve these purposes, the upper limb emphasizes mobility and sacrifices stability, while the lower limb emphasizes stability and sacrifices mobility. The contrast is perhaps most striking when comparing the mobile pectoral girdle (clavicles and scapulae) to the rigid pelvic girdle (os coxae and sacrum).

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