Welcome to the long list of terms. May the force
be with you.
A - B - C - D - E - F - G - H - I - J- K - L - M - N - O - P - Q
- R - S - T - U - V - W - X - Y - Z
Acupressure: The practice of applying pressure on parts of the body
to relieve pain.
Acupuncture: The practice of inserting fine needles on specific
meridian points for the purpose of relieving tension, stress, and
pain. Can be useful in the treatment and relief of back pain.
Adrenal glands: Small glands located on the kidneys that produce
the stress hormones adrenaline and cortisol.
Adrenaline: A hormone that stimulates metabolism, increases alertness
and increases blood pressure.
Aerobic Exercises: These kinds of exercises generally involve
large muscle groups and foster a strong and healthy heart and lung
Amino acid: The basic unit from which proteins are made. There
are two classes of amino acids: essential and non-essential. Essential
amino acids are those that cannot be manufactured by the body and
must be attained from the diet. Non-essential amino acids are those
that the body can synthesize from other amino acids.
Anabolism: The metabolic process of building new tissue. Typically
used in relation to building muscle, ligaments and tendons.
Analgesics: Medicines that are used to relieve pain - aspirin
is an example.
Ankylosing Spondylitis: A chronic, progressive, rheumatic disease
of the spine that causes calcification of the spinal ligaments,
resulting in a loss of movement.
Annulus fibrosis: The tough outer layer of the intervertebral
disc. Cartilage-like material formed in a series of rings surrounding
the nucleus pulposus (soft center) of a disc.
Arthritis: Inflammation of a joint; most arthritis is caused by
degenerative changes related to aging. Arthritis affects not only
joints but also connective tissue throughout the body can be involved,
Autonomic nervous system: The part of the nervous system that
is responsible for controlling the involuntary functions in the
body, such as digestion, metabolism, blood pressure, etc.
Bulging Disc: The annulus portion of the lumbar disc weakens causing
the nucleus to press against it resulting in the annulus pinching
or pressing against a nerve causing pain.
Bursitis: A condition in which the bursa, or fluid filled sacks
that cushion joints, become swollen.
Calorie: A unit of energy in food. Carbohydrates have 4 calories
per gram. Proteins have 4 calories per gram. Fat has 9 calories
Carbohydrate: A major source of energy in the diet. There are
two kinds of carbohydrates: simple carbohydrates and complex carbohydrates.
Simple carbohydrates are sugars, while complex carbohydrates include
both starches and fiber. Carbohydrates have 4 calories per gram.
Cardiovascular system: The system in your body responsible for
distributing blood throughout the body. The cardiovascular system
is made up of the heart, arteries, capillaries and veins.
Catabolism: The metabolic process of breaking down tissues. Typically
refers to the breakdown of muscle, bone, ligaments and tendons.
Carpal Tunnel Syndrome: A progressive and sometimes painful joint
disorder caused by a compression of the median nerve of your hand.
The compression causes swelling, which exerts pressure on the nerves.
Cartilage: A connective tissue that lines the ends of bones and
most joints. It lines the facet joints of the spine.
Cervical Spine: The upper portion of your spine; also called the
Chronic Pain: Pain that has lasted for more than three months
generally having significant psychological and emotional affects
and limiting a person's ability to fully function.
Cholesterol: A fat-like substance that is made by the body and
is found naturally in animal foods such as meat, fish, poultry,
eggs, and dairy products. Foods high in cholesterol include liver
and organ meats, egg yolks, and dairy fats. Total blood cholesterol
levels above 240 mg/dl are considered high. Levels under 200 mg/dl
are considered desirable.
Cortisol: A hormone that is released from the adrenal glands in
response to stress that facilitates fat storage and has a catabolic
affect on muscle and connective tissue.
Coccyx: The small bone at the lower tip of the spine. Also called
the tailbone, a triangular-shaped bone at the bottom of the lumbar
Compressed Nerve: Material from a bulging or Herniated disk pushes
against a nerve in the spinal cord causing severe pain.
Computed Tomography (CAT or CT) scan: A sophisticated x-ray using
a computer to produce a detailed cross-sectional three-dimensional
picture of the bone and discs.
Degenerative Arthritis: The wearing away of cartilage that protects
and cushions joints including those in the spine, hands and feet
Degenerative Disc Disease: A general term applied to degeneration
of the lumbar spinal discs which serve as cushions between the spinal
vertebrae, resulting in a narrowing of the disc space.
Diabetes Mellitus - A disease that occurs when the bodyis not
able to use blood glucose (sugar). Blood sugar levels are controlled
by insulin, a hormone that assists glucose metabolism from the blood
to muscles and other tissues. Diabetes occurs when the pancreas
does not make enough insulin or the body does not respond to the
insulin that is made.
Disc Annulus: The outer lining of a disk (see Annulus Fibrosis).
Disc Nucleus: The inner core of a disk (see Nucleus Pulposus).
Discectomy: Surgical removal of part or the entire herniated intervertebral
Diet: What a person eats and drinks. Any type of eating plan.
Electrical nerve stimulation: A type of physical therapy treatment
that utilizes various frequencies and wave forms of electrical current,
which have therapeutic effects on the nervous and musculoskeletal
Electromyography (EMG): Procedure that tests nerves and muscles
providing information to help determine if surgery may be required.
Endorphins: Chemical messengers released by the body during vigorous
exercise that stimulate the brain to feel good, happy and relaxed.
Epidural Injection: This is usually a steriod injected into the
spinal column but outside of the spinal cord for the relief of back
pain. This is NOT recommended due to the serious side-effects of
raising the blood pressure and causing the temporary malfunction
of selected organs. There are many other solutions to eliminating
back pain that are long-lasting and natural.
Exercise Therapy: A treatment used to help manage pain, rehabilitate
damaged soft tissues, such as muscles, ligament, and tendons, and
restore normal range of motion and function.
Extensor Muscles: Muscles that cause your joints to straighten,
such as the back and gluteus muscles that help keep your back straight.
Fat: A major source of energy in the diet. All food fats have 9
calories per gram. Fat helps the body absorb fat-soluble vitamins,
such as vitamins A, D, E, and K, and carotenoids.
Facet joints: The joints above and below each intervertebral disc,
allowing the spine to bend. The paired joints located in the posterior
portion of the vertebral bodies connecting the spine. These joints
are part of the stabilizing mechanism for the spine.
Facet Joint Syndrome: Pain resulting from degeneration, wear,
pressure exerted on and inflammation of the facet joints, which
are the joints at the back of each vertebrae linking the vertebrae
Fibromyalgia: Fibromyalgia is a condition that causes pain in
muscles, joints, ligaments and tendons.
Fibrositis: Pain arising from damaged tendons or muscles.
Foraminal Stenosis: Narrowing of a vertebral opening.
Flexor Muscles: muscles that cause your joints to bend, such as
your biceps muscle on the front of your upper arm or your abdominal
Foraminal Stenosis: Narrowing of a vertebral opening.
Fusion: In regard to the spine, a surgical procedure to unite
two or more vertebrae with bone graft with or without metal supports
resulting in immobilization of that portion.
Glucagon: A hormone released from the pancreas that elevates blood
sugar by stimulating the release of glucose stores in the liver
Glucose: A building block for most carbohydrates. Digestion causes
carbohydrates to break down into glucose. After digestion, glucose
is carried in the blood and goes to body cells where it is used
for energy or stored.
Glycemic index: A measure of a foods ability to raise the bodys
blood glucose level. Foods that have a low glycemic index do not
raise blood glucose levels to nearly the extent of high glycemic
Golfer's Elbow: A type of elbow pain that originates near the
inside part of the bony protrusion. This type of pain is also caused
by a tear or rupture in the tendon supporting the elbow bone.
Heat Therapy: A form of therapy often used in patients who have
chronic, or long-lasting pain. Heat therapy can involve many kinds
of methods, from simple heating pads to the use of far infrared
Herniated Disc: A disc that protrudes from its normal position
between two vertebrae, due to an injury to the annulus; frequently
associated with the nucleus of the disc oozing out of the center
of the disk.
High-density lipoprotein (HDL): A form of cholesterol that circulates
in the blood. Commonly called good cholesterol. High HDL lowers
the risk of heart disease. An HDL of 60 mg/dl or greater is considered
high and is protective against heart disease. An HDL less than 40
mg/dl is considered low and increases the risk for developing heart
Hypertension: a resting blood pressure is greater than or equal
to 140/90 mm Hg. Hypertension is associated with an increasee risk
of heart disease and stroke.
Hypothalamus: A small area of the brain that is a main control
center for regulating eating and sleeping behavior in humans. It
has binding sites for several hormones including ghrelin and leptin.
Ice or Cold Therapy: A form of therapy involving the application
of cold to treat many kinds of injuries, including those associated
with back and neck pain.
Insulin: A hormone in the body that helps move glucose from the
blood to muscles and other tissues. Insulin controls blood sugar
Inflammation: A pathologic process associated with redness, heat,
swelling, pain, and loss of function. This process destroys tissues
but is also associated with the repair and healing of body structures.
Irritable bowel syndrome: is characterized by a combination of
abdominal pain and altered bowel function.
JACKRABBIT (?). The study of fast-twitch muscles
and their relationship to movement and survival. Big ears and four
legs are required..
Kinesiology: The study of muscles and their relation to movement
and pain relief.
Kyphosis: An excess curvature of the thoracic spine called a "dowager's
hump." This can be caused by genetics and can be found moreso
in people with osteoporosis.
Laminectomy: A surgical procedure that removes a portion of the
plate that serves as the back of the spinal canal. This decompression
procedure is performed for treatment of herniated intervertebral
discs and spinal stenosis.
Ligament: Strong, dense bands made of connective tissue that stabilize
a joint, connecting bone to bone across the joint.
Lordosis: The curve in the cervical and lumbar spine. An abnormal
accentuated arch in the lower back swayback.
Low-density lipoprotein (LDL): A form of cholesterol that circulates
in the blood. Commonly called bad cholesterol. High LDL increases
the risk of heart disease. An LDL less than 100 mg/dl is considered
optimal,100-129 mg/dl is considered near or above optimal, 130-159
mg/dl is considered borderline high, 160-189 mg/dl is considered
high, and 190 mg/dl or greater is considered very high.
Lumbalgia: A general term meaning low back pain (See Low Back
Lumbar: The lower five weight bearing vertebrae that are located
between the thoracic vertebrae and the sacrum.
Magnetic resonance imaging (MRI): Magnetic radio frequency energy
used to see internal structures of the body, including bone, discs,
and nerves without the use of x-rays. Overall, the most useful technique
in the investigation of spinal abnormalities.
Maximum heart rate: A persons maximum heart rate is based on their
age. An estimate of a person's maximum age-related heart rate can
be obtained by subtracting the persons age from 220. For example,
for a 50-year-old person, the estimated maximum heart rate would
be calculated as: 220 - 50 = 170 beats per minute. The maximum heart
rate is important for measuring whether exercise is classified as
moderate-intensity (50% - 70% of maximum) or vigorous-intensity
(70% - 85% of maximum).
Meditation: A general term for numerous practices where one focuses
awareness on one thing such as breath or a short phrase in order
to quiet the mind.
Metabolism: All of the processes that occur in the body that turn
the food you eat into energy your body can use.
Monounsaturated fat: Fats that are in foods are combinations of
monounsaturated, polyunsaturated, and saturated fatty acids. Monounsaturated
fat is found in canola oil, olives and olive oil, nuts, seeds, and
Muscle Tension: A state where the muscles are in a general state
Muscle Spasm: A sudden violent involuntary contraction of a muscle
or a group of muscles. A muscle spasm is attended by pain and interference
with function, producing involuntary movement and distortion.
Myofascial Pain: Referred pain caused by possible trigger points
or hard nodules in muscle tissue.
Myofascial Release: Releasing the fascia (the sheath around a
muscle) by gentle acupressure movements.
Nerve: The body's communication system; nerves carry messages back
and forth between the brain and all body parts.
Nerve Block: Pain relief method in which an anesthetic is injected
into a nerve.
Nerve roots: Nerve projections from the spinal cord.
Neurologist: A physician who specializes in treating diseases
of the nervous system.
Neurosurgeon: A physician who specializes in surgery on the brain,
nerves, and spinal cord.
Neurotransmitter: A chemical produced in the brain that sends
messages between nerve cells.
Nucleus pulposus: Soft center of an intervertebral disc, made
up of gel-like substance.
Nutrition: The relationship of food to the well-being of the body.
Orthopedic Surgeon: A doctor who specializes in diseases of the
Osteoarthritis: Also called degenerative arthritis mostly affecting
middle-aged and elderly men and women. In some, osteoarthritis may
affect the spine's facet joints, making it extremely painful to
bend or twist.
Osteopathic Medicine: Particular attention is paid to muscles,
joints, bones, and nerves through defined osteopathic manipulations.
Osteoporosis: A disease characterized by the loss of bone density,
resulting in brittleness; most commonly affecting the spinal vertebrae,
wrists and hips.
Osteophytes: Additional bone material, or overgrowths, that have
been attributed to a wide variety of ailments. Also called bone
spurs, osteophytes are manufactured by your body in response to
a breakdown in existing bony structures. Sometimes, bone spurs can
exert pressure on nerves, and this leads to pain.
Overuse injuries: Injuries that occur during the course of everyday
activities, such as housework or exercise. Symptoms may include
pain, muscle spasms, and stiffness.
Pancreas: A gland that makes enzymes that help the body break down
and use nutrients in food. It also produces the hormones insulin
and glucagon, releasing these into the bloodstream to help the body
control blood sugar levels.
Plantar fasciitis: Inflammation of the ligament running from the
front of the heel bone through the bottom of the foot. Repetitive
motions such as quick stops and starts during sports, or long distance
running, have sometimes been associated with Plantar fasciitis.
Phenylethanolamine (PEA): A chemical found in chocolate that elevates
mood. It is thought to be the compound that causes chocolate cravings.
Physical Therapy: The health profession that treats pain in muscles,
nerves, joints, and bones with exercise, electrical stimulation,
hydrotherapy, and the use of massage, heat, cold, and electrical
Polyunsaturated fat: A highly unsaturated fat that is liquid at
room temperature. Fats that are in foods are combinations of monounsaturated,
polyunsaturated, and saturated fatty acids.
Protein: One of the three nutrients that provides calories to
the body. Protein is an essential nutrient that helps build many
parts of the body, including muscle, bone, skin, and blood. Protein
provides 4 calories per gram and is found in foods like meat, fish,
poultry, eggs, dairy products, beans, nuts, and tofu.
QUACKERY (?). A natural process that unforunately
can be learned by anyone to create stress on the body's physiology.
The methods used increase tension, heighten anxiety, deliver pain
and extract green stuff from you. You do NOT need to have big ears
and four legs for this..
Relaxation Techniques: A natural process that can be learned by
anyone to reverse the effects of stress on the body's physiology.
Methods used are to lessen tension, reduce anxiety, and manage pain.
Rheumatoid Arthritis: An inflammatory disease that affects the
facet joints in the spine as well as other joints in the body including
the hands, elbows, shoulders, fingers and toes.
Ruptured Disk: Herniated disk where material from the disk pushes
through the outer lining of the disk.
Satiety: A mechanism to tell the body that it has had enough food.
The most important satiety compounds are the hormone leptin and
the fatty acid oleylethanolamine (OEA).
Saturated fat: A fat that is solid at room temperature. Fats that
are in foods are combinations of monounsaturated, polyunsaturated
and saturated fatty acids. Saturated fat is found in high-fat dairy
products (like cheese, whole milk, cream, butter, and regular ice
cream), fatty fresh and processed meats, the skin and fat of chicken
and turkey, lard, palm oil, and coconut oil.
Sciatic nerve: The nerve that serves the legs and originates from
several levels of the lower back. Formed by multiple nerve roots
from the lumbar spine; the sciatic nerve sends signals down the
leg to control muscles and up the leg to provide sensations.
Sciatica: An inflammation of the sciatic nerve usually marked
by tenderness along the course of the nerve through the buttocks,
thigh, and leg.
Scoliosis: An abnormal curve of the spine.
Sedentary: The act of engaging in little to no leisure-time physical
Serotonin: A neurotransmitter in the brain that elevates mood
and decreases appetite.
Slipped Disk: This is a layman's term, a misnomer and actually
refers to an injured or degenerated disk that may be protruded against
adjacent nerve tissues or a misalignment. It can either be a herniated
disk, ruptured disk or prolapsed disk. If the disk is misaligned
with an adjacent vertebrea, then an effective chiropractic adjustment
may be able to put it back into its proper position.
Spina Bifida: A congenital defect of the spine in which the arches
of the lower lumbar spine fail to form over the spinal cord, leaving
the cord unprotected.
Spinal canal: The opening at the center of the spine through which
the spinal cord runs.
Spinal cord: The root section of the central nervous system going
down from the brain through the spinal column, where it divides
Spinal column: The spine.
Spinal Fracture: Broken vertebrae in the spine.
Spinal cord: The column of nerve tissue that runs from the brain
to the lower back.
Spinal fusion: A process in which the disc and cartilage is removed
from between the vertebrae, and bone grafts (often harvested from
the pelvis) are placed between or alongside the vertebrae to join
the bones together.
Spinal stenosis: A narrowing of the spinal canal, that compresses
the spinal cord and/or the nerve roots, cutting off their impulses
to the muscles of the leg.
Spondyloarthopathy: A group of disorders that causes inflammatory
arthritis of the spine.
Spondylitis: Inflammation of the spine generally caused by an
Spondylolysis: This is a defect in the pars interarticularis of
the neural arch connecting to the superior and inferior articular
Spondylolisthesis: A spinal abnormality in which there is an anterior
displacement of a vertebra on the one below, often resuting in back
Stenosis: Narrowing of a portion of the spinal canal, usually
because of bony overgrowth (see Spinal Stenosis).
Subluxation: A misalignment in the bony structures of the spine.
Subluxations can create pressure or irritation on the various nerves
in your spine, and can cause a wide variety of symptoms throughout
your body, such as localized pain, soreness, irregularity, and weakness.
An effective chiropratic adjustment usuaaly solves these kind of
Tendon: White fibrous bands of tissue that attach muscle to bone.
Tennis elbow: Also known as lateral epicondylitis, tennis elbow
is pain on the lateral, or outside part of the elbow, on or near
the bony protrusion. It is usually caused by the overuse of the
wrist extensor muscles, which leads to the inflammation of the tendon
Therapeutic massage: A form of massage that involves the manipulation
of the soft tissues of the body to decrease muscle spasm, pain and
to improve movement.
Thoracic Spine: Twelve vertebrae above the lumbar spine and below
the cervical spine.
Thyroid hormone: A hormone released by the thyroid gland that
stimulates metabolism and helps to regulate a range of biochemical
processes in the body.
Unsaturated fat: A fat that is liquid at room temperature. Vegetable
oils are unsaturated fats. Unsaturated fats include polyunsaturated
fats, and monounsaturated fats. Sources of unsaturated fats include
most nuts, olives, avocados, and fatty fish such as salmon.
Vertebrae: The 24 cylindrical segments of bone that make up the
Vertebral column: The Spine. The flexible structure that forms
the "backbone" of the skeleton, arranged a straight line
from the base of the skull to the tailbone; also called spine.
Vertebral subluxation complex: Another term for subluxation that
is used in the chiropractic profession.
Weight-cycle: Losing and gaining weight over and over again. Commonly
called yo-yo dieting. With each cycle, there is a worsening of the
percentage of body fat due to a loss of lean muscle tissue.
Whiplash: An injury to the cervical spine that occurs from rapid
hyper-flexion, hyper-extension and compression movements, such as
in an automobile accident.
X-Ray: A diagnostic imaging method that exposes photographic films
with radiation passed through the body. It is most useful in diagnosing
fractures, dislocations, abnormal positioning or other structural
problems in bone.
Yoga: A gentle exercise system consisting of numerous stretching
movements that is extremely helpful in healing.
ZEBRA (?): A gentle, black and white stripped exercise system consisting
of numerous stretching movements that are extremely helpful in survival.
Big ears and four feet are required.