Skip to Main Content

We have a new app!

Take the Access library with you wherever you go—easy access to books, videos, images, podcasts, personalized features, and more.

Download the Access App here: iOS and Android


When you finish this chapter you should be able to

  • Understand the anatomy of the thorax and abdomen.

  • Identify the location and function of the heart and lungs.

  • Be aware of the location and function of the abdominal viscera related to the urinary system, the digestive system, the reproductive system, and the lymphatic system.

  • Be familiar with techniques for assessing thoracic and abdominal injuries.

  • Recognize various injuries to the structures of the thorax.

  • Review various injuries and conditions in the structures of the abdomen.


|Download (.pdf)|Print
rebound tenderness commotio cordis


Visit for further exercises to apply your knowledge:

  • Clinical application scenarios covering assessment and recognition of thoracic and abdominal injuries; etiology, symptoms and signs, and management of thoracic and abdominal and internal organ injuries; and rehabilitation for the thorax and abdomen

  • Click-and-drag questions covering structural anatomy of the thorax, abdomen, and internal organs; assessment of thorax, abdomen, and internal organ injuries; and rehabilitation plan of the thorax and abdomen

  • Multiple-choice questions covering anatomy, assessment, etiology, management, and rehabilitation of thorax, abdomen, and internal organ injuries

  • Selection questions covering rehabilitation plan for various injuries to the thorax and abdomen

  • Video identification of special tests for the thorax, abdomen, and internal organ injuries, and rehabilitation techniques for the thorax and abdomen

  • Picture identification of major anatomical components of the cervical, thoracic, and lumbar spine and nerve roots; thorax; abdomen; and internal organs; and rehabilitation techniques of the thorax and abdomen; and therapeutic modalities for management


This chapter deals with sports injuries to the thorax and abdomen. In an athletic environment, injuries to the thorax and abdomen have a lower incidence than do injuries to the extremities. However, unlike the musculoskeletal injuries to the extremities discussed to this point, injuries to the heart, lungs, and abdominal viscera can be serious and even life threatening if not recognized and managed appropriately. It is imperative for the athletic trainer to be familiar with the anatomy of and more common injuries seen in the abdomen and thorax (Figure 27–1).


Collision sports can produce serious thoracic and abdominal injuries.

© William E. Prentice


The thoracic cavity is the portion of the body commonly known as the chest, which lies between the base of the neck and the diaphragm. It consists of the thoracic vertebrae, the 12 pairs of ribs with their associated costal cartilages, and the sternum (Figure 27–2). Its main functions are to protect the vital respiratory and circulatory organs ...

Pop-up div Successfully Displayed

This div only appears when the trigger link is hovered over. Otherwise it is hidden from view.