PT Trivia

Here are some of the physical therapy trivia and questions, mostly about the human body and about physical therapy.

Muscles (Muscular System)

How many muscles are there in the human body?
  • Most sources state that there are more than 650 named skeletal muscles in the body. It might be difficult to count all of the muscles in the body if your going to include the smooth and cardiac muscles.

What is the smallest skeletal muscle in the body?
  • The smallest skeletal muscle in the human body is the stapedius muscle, which is found in the middle ear. Its nerve supply (innervation) is the facial nerve or cranial nerve 7.

What is the largest muscle in the body?
  • The largest muscle in the body is the gluteus maximus. It is one of the major muscles that comprise the gluteal (buttock) muscles. The other two gluteals are the gluteus medius and gluteus minimus.

What is the smallest gluteal muscle or buttock muscle?
  • It is the gluteus minimus. Obvious, isn't it?

What is the longest muscle in the body?
  • The longest skeletal muscle in the body is the sartorius. Main action during muscle movement is the acronym FABER, which stands for flexion, abduction, and external rotation of the hip.

What is the broadest muscle in the body?
  • The broadest skeletal muscle in the body is the latissimius dorsi--one of the muscles located at the back.

What muscle in the human body works the hardest?
  • The hardest working muscle is the heart.

Which muscle of the body pulls with the greatest force?
  • It is actually the soleus, which is found just in front of the gastrocnemius--the largest of your calf muscles. Your soleus and gastrocnemius located behind your leg are known as your calf muscles.

What comprises the hamstring muscle?
  • The hamstrings muscle is a group of muscles located at the back of the thigh. It is composed of the semitendinosus, semimembranosus and the biceps femoris.

What is the largest and strongest tendon in the body?

Bones (Skeletal System)

How many bones are there in the adult human body?
  • There are about 206 bones in the body. Infants and children have more than 206 bones because some of their bones have not fused yet. For example, some of the bones of the spinal column or backbone.

What is the longest bone in the human body?
  • The longest bone in the body is the femur (thigh bone).

What is the heaviest bone in the human body?
  • The heaviest bone in the body is, again, the femur. It is also considered as the strongest bone in the human body.

What is the bone that does not attach to another bone?
  • The hyoid bone, located in the front part of the neck, does not attach to another bone. It is supported by ligaments--bands of tissue--and muscles.

What is the smallest bone in the body?
  • The smallest bone in the human body is the stapes. It is one of the small bones located in the middle ear. The other small bones in the middle ear are the malleaus and incus.

What is the most mobile group of bones in the spine/vertebral column?
  • The most mobile of the spine is the cervical spine or cervical vertebrae (neck bones) followed by the lumbar spine. The thoracic spine has a limited motion permitted because of the attachment of the ribs.

What is the largest joint in the body?
  • It is the knee joint followed by your hip joint.

What is the most commonly injured ligament in the knee?

Blood

What makes red blood cells red?
  • Hemoglobin, which is a red pigment, gives whole blood its red color. White blood cells, on the other hand, has no hemoglobin, thus the term.

How many red blood cells does an average person have?
  • It is approximately 5.4 million red blood cells per microliter* in a healthy adult male. For females, it is approximately 4.8 million per microliter. *One drop of blood is about 50 microliter.

What are the most numerous white blood cells (WBCs)?
  • They are the neutrophils. They are also the first WBCs to arrive at a site of infection. Since they are more numerous, they can be considered as the most common WBCs.

What are the least numerous white blood cells?
  • The basophils.

What are the largest white blood cells?
  • The largest WBCs are the monocytes. Once they migrate into tissues, they enlarge to become macrophages. This makes them even more bigger.

Heart and Blood Vessels
  • The heart is not exactly located at the center of the chest. Actually, 2/3s of heart lies towards the left.
  • The heart beats at an estimated 100,000 beats per day.

What is the largest artery in the body?
  • That would be the Aorta.

What is the longest vein in the body?
  • The longest vein in the body would be the Great Saphenous vein.

Skin, Hair, and Nails

How many hairs do we lose per day?
  • In an average person, about 50 to 100 hairs are lost each day.

Nervous System

What is the largest nerve in the body?
  • It is the Sciatic nerve.

What is the largest nerve in the upper limb (extremity)?
  • The Radial nerve.

This is just a partial list of trivia regarding the human body and physical therapy. Bookmark us by pressing Ctrl simultaneously with D (Ctrl + D) on your keyboard so that you can easily come back to this page for more trivia.

Sources:
Tortora, G. and Grabowski, S.: Principles of Anatomy and Physiology. 10th ed. John Wiley and Sons, Inc., 2003.

Seeley, R. et al: Essentials of Anatomy and Physiology. 5th ed. McGraw – Hill, 2005.

Everyday Mysteries (February 2009). Library of Congress. Available at http://www.loc.gov/rr/scitech/mysteries/muscles.html. Accessed on June 23, 2010.