Dorsiflexion vs. Plantar Flexion Video

An error occurred trying to load this video.

Try refreshing the page, or contact customer support.

Coming up next: Dorsiflexion: Definition & Contracture

You're on a roll. Keep up the good work!

Take Quiz Watch Next Lesson
 Replay
Your next lesson will play in 10 seconds
  • 0:04 Flexing Your Muscle
  • 0:27 Dorsiflexion
  • 1:52 Plantar Flexion
  • 2:32 Lesson Summary
Save Save Save

Want to watch this again later?

Log in or sign up to add this lesson to a Custom Course.

Log in or Sign up

Timeline
Autoplay
Autoplay
Speed Speed

Recommended Lessons and Courses for You

Lesson Transcript
Instructor: Artem Cheprasov
Have you ever heard of dorsiflexion or plantar flexion? These terms can be confusing, but this lesson quickly and clearly defines and distinguishes between the two of them for you.

Flexing Your Muscle

When we hear of flexing one's muscles, we tend to think of big muscular men flexing their biceps or their pectorals. Of course, flexion occurs throughout your body for the purposes of motion. You can flex all sorts of aspects of the body, not just your arms.

This lesson defines and differentiates two particular terms with respect to flexion; they are dorsiflexion and plantar flexion.

Dorsiflexion

To better understand what dorsiflexion means, let's break this word down really quickly.

'Dorsi-' is a word part that comes to us from dorsum, which refers to the back. So 'dorsi-' refers to the back itself or toward the back of something. The back region of your dog or cat, the one you pet with your hand, is the animal's dorsum. The back of your hand is the dorsal part of the hand. The back (or top/upper) part of your foot, the one opposite the side you walk on, is the dorsal aspect of the foot.

'-Flexion' is a word part that, in its very basic sense, refers to the bending of a joint or limb. More specifically, however, flexion is a type of movement that ends up decreasing the angle between two articulating bones. Confused? Try this then. Stretch out your entire arm. It should be as straight as a log. Now bend the arm at the elbow. Do you see how the angle between your upper arm bone and one of the lower arm bones begins decreasing from 180 degrees (completely straight) to something less than that? This is flexion.

Dorsiflexion refers to the backward or upward motion of a part of the body. Think of it as bending something back. It's commonly used with respect to the movement of the hand or foot.

To unlock this lesson you must be a Study.com Member.
Create your account

Register to view this lesson

Are you a student or a teacher?

Unlock Your Education

See for yourself why 30 million people use Study.com

Become a Study.com member and start learning now.
Become a Member  Back
What teachers are saying about Study.com
Try it risk-free for 30 days

Earning College Credit

Did you know… We have over 200 college courses that prepare you to earn credit by exam that is accepted by over 1,500 colleges and universities. You can test out of the first two years of college and save thousands off your degree. Anyone can earn credit-by-exam regardless of age or education level.

To learn more, visit our Earning Credit Page

Transferring credit to the school of your choice

Not sure what college you want to attend yet? Study.com has thousands of articles about every imaginable degree, area of study and career path that can help you find the school that's right for you.

Create an account to start this course today
Try it risk-free for 30 days!
Create an account
Support