Torso

Remove the head and limbs from the body, and what is left is “torso.”

The torso is divided into its two major components by the diaphragm, the dome-shaped horizontal muscle that lies between thorax (chest), and abdomen.

The thorax contains the essential organs of circulation (heart) and breathing (lungs). The abdomen contains the essential organs of nutrition (stomach, gut, liver), the organs of excretion (kidney and bladder), and in its pelvic cavity in the female, the organ of birth (uterus).

The torso is given stability by the vertebral column with 12 thoracic vertebrae and 5 lumbar vertebrae, which become thicker and heavier in descending order. The organs of the thorax are protected by the 12 paired ribs.

At the back of the torso is a complicated system of muscles which extend (straighten) the spine to maintain the erect position; at the front of the torso the abdominal muscles protect the abdominal contents and act as flexors (bend) the spine.