Glossary of Terms
Bursa: a bodily pouch or sac: as a : a small serous sac between a tendon and a bone.
Bursitis: inflammation of a bursa.
Cervical: refers to the 7 spinal vertabrae that make up the neck.
Computed tomography: radiography in which a three-dimensional image of a body structure is constructed by computer from a series of plane cross-sectional images made along an axis -- abbreviation CT.
Core exercises: Rx exercises focused on strengthening and stabilizing the pelvis and trunk. These involve the areas of the lower back, abdomen, buttocks and thighs.
Disc: any of the tough elastic disks that are interposed between the center of adjoining vertebrae and that consist of an outer annulus fibrosus enclosing an inner nucleus pulposus. The disc is the shock absorber of the spine.
Disc herniation: catch all term used to describe a damaged spinal disc. Common terms may include herniated disc, herniated nucleus pulposus, ruptured disc, prolapsed disc, protruded disc, and bulging disc.
Epidural steroid injection: the injection of anti-inflammatory medicine, such as cortisone, near the nerve roots that are inflamed and causing pain. This can be a very helpful adjunct in rehabilitation of patient's the spine pain that radiates into an arm or leg or in the thoracic spine around the chest or trunk.
Facet: a smooth flat or nearly flat circumscribed anatomical surface (the articular surface of a bone).
Facet Injection / Block: the injection of anti-inflammatory and pain medication directly into the joint space.
Kyphosis: exaggerated outward curvature of the thoracic region of the spinal column resulting in a rounded upper back.
Ligament: Fibrous tissue that connects bones to other bones.
Lordosis: exaggerated forward curvature of the lumbar and cervical regions of the spinal column.
Lumbar: refers to the 5 spinal vertabrae that are in the low back.
MRI: a noninvasive diagnostic technique that produces computerized images of internal body tissues and is based on nuclear magnetic resonance of atoms within the body induced by the application of radio waves -- called an MRI.
Radiculopathy: any pathological condition of the nerve roots. Commonly causes shooting pain or numbness/tingling away from the site of pathology. Classically known as a "pinched nerve".
Sacroiliac: located at the end of the spine, where the "tailbone" joins the pelvis. It is located where the dimpled area of the back is, just below the waist.
Sprain: a sudden or violent twist or wrench of a joint causing the stretching or tearing of ligaments and often rupture of blood vessels with hemorrhage into the tissues; this is usually marked by swelling, inflammation, hemorrhage, and discoloration.
A tearing injury to ligaments. Sprains can be minor, with only a slight stress to the ligament or may be severe with total separation of a ligament that supports a joint.
Strain: bodily injury from excessive tension, effort, or overuse; especially resulting from a wrench or twist and involving undue stretching of muscles or tendon.
Tendon: a tough cord or band of dense white fibrous connective tissue that unites a muscle with some other part, transmits the force which the muscle exerts, and is continuous with the connective-tissue epimysium and perimysium of the muscle and when inserted into a bone with the periosteum of the bone.
Tendinitis: inflammation of a tendon.
Thoracic: refers to the 12 spinal vertabrae in the middle of the back.
Trigger point: a hyperirritable spot in skeletal muscle that is associated with a hypersensitive area in a tight band of the muscle.
X-ray study: One of the easiest and most valuable early diagnostic tools for doctors that pratice physical medicine. They allow us to view a specific region of the skeletal structure closely to evaluate sprains, fractures, arthritic conditions, pathology such as bone tumors and bone density, and biomechanical changes such as abnormal curvatures. All conditions do not require an X-ray study to receive proper treatment so they should be performed only when clinically necessary. This is also known as a plain film study.