Top 21 Free Musculoskeletal Anatomy Resources
Knowledge of musculoskeletal anatomy is a fundamental aspect of human biology courses and essential for many health professionals, including physical therapy/physiotherapy, occupational therapy, nursing, and medicine. I know from personal experience that studying anatomy takes a great deal of time and effort, and that you never really finish learning. To make learning musculoskeletal anatomy as easy as possible, I have included a list of my top 21 free musculoskeletal anatomy resources. I hope that you find them as helpful as I have.
Anatomy Zone An absolutely fantastic multi-resource website which provides an impressive amount of video tutorials on musculoskeletal and nervous anatomy. A database of muscle attachments, function and innervation, and a free 3D model, all of which makes this website one of the best free anatomy resources on the net.
Get Body Smart Possibly my favourite free anatomy resource on this list! It is extremely simple to use but contains a whole host of very useful features: a layering tool, videos demonstrating muscle action, supporting images such as nervous distribution and succinct and organised supporting text. A very useful tool.
Zygote Body A very impressive looking 3D model which allows you to layer between bone, muscle and nervous system etc. The level of detail is very good for a 3D model, and still shows sufficient detail when zoomed in.
Healthline Body Maps A free 3D model which allows you to view the body at various levels. The level of detail is not comprehensive and information about body parts could be formatted to better aid learning; however, it is a great place to start, especially for visual learners.
Anatronica Interactive Anatomy 3D This 3D model is easy to manipulate and view structures from different angles; it is very useful for people looking to visualise a body part. It doesn't, however, provide descriptive text with the visuals to enhance your learning of the structures, and would best be used along with a traditional text resource.
WinkingSkull Although some functions and content are reserved for paid users, there is still some high quality, useful free content. Several illustrations are available to view which, although not providing the interactivity of 3D models, does contain more detail.
Online Lecture Series
Essential Skeleton 4 This free app is unfortunately only available on Apple operating systems. The fully 3D and intricately detailed images, along with a host of intuitive functions, makes this a very user friendly tool.
Human Dissection *Warning these links contain content which some may find distressing
Still Image and Text Resources
Wikipedia Most question the validity of Wikipedia as a serious resource for academia, and rightly so, but when going through the process of rote learning, I think Wikipedia can be a very useful resource. This series of tables present every major muscle and more, into a very useful resource which will allow you to quickly check the attachments, action and nervous innervation of any muscle.
Instant anatomy A collection of images and descriptions. Not as easily navigable as some other resources, but there are some gems, such as bony anatomy illustrations which demonstrate the position of all muscular attachments. This can really help you get to grips with the action of a muscle and the direction of pull of the fibres.
Health in Motion Physiotherapy Sheffield