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Back

The term back is scientifically used to indicate the back part of the human body.

Anatomy of the (human) back

There is a well-marked furrow stretching all the way down the middle line of the back from the external occipital protuberance to the cleft of the buttocks.

In this the spinous processes of the vertebrae can be felt, especially if the model bend forward. The cervical spines[?] are difficult to feel, except the seventh and sometimes the second, and although the former is called the vertebra prominens[?], it is less easily felt than is that of the first thoracic.

In practice it is not very easy to identify any one spine with certainty: one method is to start from the prominent first thoracic and to count down; another is to join the lower angles of the two scapulae[?] when the arms are hanging down, and to take the spine through which the line passes as the seventh.

The spinal furrow is caused by the prominence of the erector spinae muscles on each side; these become less well marked as they run upward. The outlines of the scapulae can be well seen; they cover the ribs from the second to the seventh inclusive. The scapular spine is quite subcutaneous, and can be followed upward and outward from the level of the third thoracic spine to the acromion, and so to the outer end of the clavicle.

On the lower margin of the acromion is a little tubercle[?] known as the metacromial process[?] or acromial angle, which is very useful for taking measurements from. The tip of the twelfth rib may usually be felt about two inches above the middle of the iliac crest, but this rib is very variable in length.

The highest point of the iliac crest[?] corresponds to the fourth lumbar spine, while the posterior superior iliac spine is on a level with the second sacral vertebra. This posterior superior spine is not easily felt, owing to the ligaments attached to it, but there is usually a little dimple in the skin over it. By drawing horizontal lines through the 1st, 3rd and 5th lumbar spines, the transpyloric, subcostal and intertubercular lines or planes may be reproduced behind and the same viscera localized.

(from an old encyclopedia)



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