By: Sage Foley

Diarthrotic Joints

  • A freely movable joint in which a bone moves around on a central axis.
  • Example: Between Radius and Ulna in the lower arm and in the Neck


  • Allows bones to make a sliding motion either back and forth or front to back.
  • Example: Carpals in wrist and Tarsals in ancle


  • Allows only flexion and extension
  • Example: Knees, Elbows, Fingers, and Toes


  • Can move about in many directions but cannot rotate
  • Example: Metacarpals and Metatarsals


  • Shapes of two bones complement one another
  • Example: The Thumb


  • Bone with rounded end fits into a concave cavity on another bone. This provides the widest range of motion
  • Example: Hips and Shoulders
The 6 Types of Joints - Human Anatomy for Artists


  • Flexion: decrease the angle between two bones

  • Extension: increase the angle between two bones

  • Hyperextension: increase the angle between 2 bones beyond the normal range of motion

  • Abduction: limb moves away from the midline

  • Adduction: limb moves toward the midline

  • Rotation: movement of a bone on an axis, toward or away from the body (Internal and External)

  • Circumduction: circular movement of the limb around an axis. Proximal portion remains stationary while distal portion moves in circle

  • Supination: turning palm upward, feet raising medial margin

  • Pronation: turning palm downward, feet lowering medial margin

  • Plantarflexion: extends the foot, with toes pointing down

  • Dorsiflexion: flexes the foot, bringing toes up

  • Inversion: turns the sole of the foot inward (medially)

  • Eversion: turns the sole of the foot outward (laterally)

  • Protraction: moving shoulders and/or jaw forward

  • Retraction: moving shoulders and/or jaw backwards

  • Elevation: lifting body superiorly (upward)

  • Depression: lifting body inferiorly (downward)

  • Opposition: moves thumb to touch the tips of the other fingers
Anatomical Terms of Movement

Anatomical Positions

  • Medial: Toward the midline

  • Lateral: Away from the midline

  • Proximal: Near the point of attachment

  • Distal: Farthest from the point of attachment

  • Inferior: Below

  • Superior: Above

  • Anterior: Toward the front

  • Posterior: Toward the back

Anatomical Terms - Drawn & Defined (Updated)

Anatomical Planes

Coronal (Frontal): Front and Back

Sagittal: Right and Left

Axil (Transverse): Upper and Lower

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