Definition of Physiology

Definition of Physiology


  • Physiology is the complement to anatomy and is concerned with the function, rather than the form, of structures in the body.
  • It is the study of the physics and chemistry of structures, as well as how they work together to provide a specific function.


  • Homeostasis is the steady internal state which the body maintains.
  • Physiology is concerned with how structures in the body function to maintain homeostasis.

Relationship with Anatomy

  • Anatomy and physiology cannot be studied in isolation.
  • Instead, they must be taken together, as two parts of the same puzzle.
  • For example:
    • To understand how the spine functions, we must look at the structure of the bones.
    • But to understand the structure of the bones, we must look at how it functions.