Anatomy & Organs

Trunk – structure, function & diseases


The term torso is often used synonymously with the terms trunk or body trunk . It denotes the central part of the human body excluding the extremities, the neck and the head .

What is the torso?

“Trunk” is a technical term from the field of anatomy. It describes the central part of the human body. Legs , arms , head and neck are not part of the torso.

The torso is also referred to as the torso . It can be divided into four different sections. The lowest part of the torso is the pelvis . Above that are the stomach (abdomen) and back (dorsum). The chest (thorax) and chest (pectus) also belong to the torso.

Anatomy & Structure

The lower part of the torso is the pelvis. It is below the abdomen and above the legs. In humans, a distinction can be made between a large and a small pelvis. Strictly speaking, the large pelvis is part of the abdomen.The pelvis consists of the pelvic organs and the bony pelvis. This in turn is formed from the two hip bones (ossa coxae). The hip bones each consist of the ilium , ischium , and pubic bone . The area between the chest and pelvis is called the abdomen. The upper limit of the abdomen is approximately at the height of the breastbone, the abdomen ends at the inguinal ligament. The space inside the abdomen is called the abdominal cavity or abdomen. The abdominal cavity is limited at the top by the diaphragm . The lower limit is the hip bone and the pelvic floor. The abdomen is lined with peritoneum and contains the abdominal organs.

The back is the back part of the torso. It extends from the lower part of the neck to the loin or coccyx. The spine , the rear parts of the ribs and soft tissues such as connective tissue and back muscles make up the back.

The rib cage is formed by the thoracic spine, sternum and ribs. Inside the thorax lies the thoracic cavity. Due to the dome shape of the diaphragm, part of the abdominal cavity also protrudes into the rib cage. The respiratory muscles attach on the outside and inside of the thorax .

Function & Tasks

First and foremost, the torso with its skeleton and muscles provides stability. It is only thanks to the bones and muscles in the trunk that people are able to walk and stand upright. In addition, the torso houses almost all the important organs of the body.

Only the brain is outside the torso. The abdomen contains the stomach , small intestine , large intestine , spleen , pancreas and liver . These organs are primarily used for digestion . The liver is also the most important metabolic organ in the body. It plays an important role in processing nutrients and detoxifying the body. The kidneys are also part of the abdominal organs. They filter the blood and ensure the elimination of metabolic end products. They are also responsible for regulating blood pressureand water retention.

The heart and lungs are located in the thorax . The heart supplies blood to the entire body. In the lungs, the blood is enriched with oxygen . Carbon dioxide is removed from the blood and exhaled here. The bladder, urinary tract and genitals are located in the pelvis . Urine is excreted from the kidneys via the bladder and the urinary tract . The sex organs are primarily used for reproduction .


Given the many structures that the torso comprises, it quickly becomes clear that numerous diseases can develop in this area. Muscular dystrophies , for example, almost exclusively affect the core muscles.Muscular dystrophies are a group of muscle disorders associated with muscle weakness and wasting . They are usually inherited and take a chronic progressive course. There are many diseases in the abdomen. An acute abdomen can result from appendicitis , gallstones , kidney stones , or diverticulitis . The acute abdomen is characterized by sudden onset of severe abdominal pain .

Of course, numerous tumor diseases can also occur in the abdominal area. The most common tumors are in the stomach, colon, liver or pancreas. Diseases in the thorax can affect the lungs or the heart. An inflamed lung is called pneumonia . Other acute diseases of the lungs are bronchopneumonia or acute bronchitis . Chronic lung diseases include COPD (Chronic Obstructive Lung Disease), bronchial asthma , pulmonary emphysema , pulmonary fibrosis and diffuse idiopathic pulmonary cell hyperplasia (DIPNECH).

A malignant neoplasm that originates from the cells of the bronchi is called bronchial carcinoma or lung cancer . Bronchial carcinoma is the most common deadly type of cancer in Germany. The main risk factor is smoking . The heart can also become diseased. Coronary heart disease (CHD) is a chronic disease of the heart.

It is caused by arteriosclerosis in the coronary arteries and can lead to a heart attack . In a heart attack, tissue is destroyed due to reduced blood flow. If the heart can no longer supply the body with enough blood, this is referred to as cardiac insufficiency . This can be divided into left ventricular failure, right ventricular failure and global failure.

In carditis, the heart is inflamed. In myocarditis , the muscle layer of the heart is affected. In endocarditis , the lining of the heart becomes inflamed, and in pericarditis , the sac around the heart becomes inflamed. Inflammation of the pelvic organs is often caused by bacteria . It is not uncommon for these to be transmitted through sexual intercourse .

Lisa Newlon
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Hello! I am Lisa Newlon, and I am a medical writer and researcher with over 10 years of experience in the healthcare industry. I have a Master’s degree in Medicine, and my deep understanding of medical terminology, practices, and procedures has made me a trusted source of information in the medical world.