- P -
point at which a stimulus causes a feeling of pain.
A disorder of bone remodeling sometimes associated with breast cancers and
causing very weak bones.
This includes any
therapy that relieves symptoms, such as pain, but does not alter the course of
the disease. Its primary purpose is to improve the quality of life.
P.A.L. technique (positive anatomical leg length)
This is a technique for detecting differences in leg length which is commonly
used by chiropractors to do "health screenings" in malls and at health fairs.
A paralysis of a
muscle or group of muscles.
An injury to the nerves to the arm caused by a tumor at the top of the lung.
The top of the lung is next to the nerves and the nerves may be the first tissue
damaged by a cancer in this area.
- a medical legal examination by a physician selected by the California WCAB
The effects of cancer such as loss of appetite, weakness and fatigue.
The incomplete loss of the use of both legs, usually from an injury to the
thoracic or lumbar spine. This implies some residual function, usually some
remaining strength or sensation. It differs from paraplegia where the loss is
The complete loss of the use of both legs, usually from an injury to the
thoracic or lumbar spine.
of upgaze and other problems related to increased pressure inside the skull from
trauma or tumor.
is a disease where the cells in the back of the brain (the substantia nigra)
deteriorate. The loss of these cells causes a tremor and poor movement. This
can be treated with medications or surgery.
This is a Latin phrase that means a part between two joints. In the
spine it is part of the lamina of the back of the vertebral bone and it is
commonly broken. A broken pars interarticularis is called a spondylolysis. If
painful, a fusion may be needed to fix this.
Syndrome This is a painful weakness of the muscles of the arm. This is a
rare disease that is diagnosed frequently and incorrectly.
The study of diseases, or how injury and illnesses affect the human body.
An inflammatory condition of the patellar ligament, usually due to overuse.
A physician who diagnoses diseases by studying cells and tissues under a
Part of the vertebral bone that extends from the front to the back of each of
vertebra. There is one pedicle one each side of a vertebra (right and left).
Surgeons frequently place screws in these parts to repair the spine.
This is a special type of screw that is used in spinal surgery to solidly hold
a vertebral bone. Screws are used in combination with rods when repairing the
Pelvic deficiency (P.D.)
A condition described by
proponents of activator methods define as an
"apparent" difference in leg-length which is not an anatomical difference. It is
also called "functional short leg." To determine where the alleged problem is
located, the practitioner holds the patient's feet in various ways while the
patient lies face-down on an examining table
This means a tilting of the pelvis so that it is no longer horizontal.
The large bone between the legs and the lower spine which includes the ilium,
pubis, and ischium. The hip joints are part of the pelvis. The lumbosacral
junction refers to the connection between L5 (last
lumbar vertebra), the sacrum,
and the rest of the pelvis.
- monetary fines imposed when a party violates the law; applies only to the
California state system.
Report - a report
submitted to the insurance company by the doctor after some visits; required by
law; describes the current complaints, examination findings, treatment advice,
etc.; applies only to the California state system.
A fibrous membrane that covers the surface of bone.
This is a type of tort or law suit where one seeks to recover money for medical
costs, pain and suffering caused by another person.
Stationary (P&S) - a
point in time when problems related to an injury are relatively stable and most
treatment has been completed; the time when temporary disability payments stop
and permanent disability payments start; the time when the disability rating can
be assessed; applies only to the California state system.
Disability (PD) - a
numeric percentage rating (from 1% to 100%) that reflects an injured worker's
loss of ability to compete in the labor market; the percent of jobs he/she can
no longer do; applies only to the California state system.
Perthes Disease (or Legg Perthes disease)
Damage to the top of the femur bone in young men.
An upper cervical chiropractic adjustive technique that utilizes an instrument
to adjust the atlas. Orthogonal lines are used to measure the full spine.
A test for carpal tunnel syndrome in which the wrists are flexed for one
A painful sensitivity to light.
- under California workers' compensation law this includes medical doctors,
osteopaths, chiropractors, and acupuncturists are considered physicians.
Other practitioners are not.
The physician who specializes in physical medicine and rehabilitation.
A collection of treatments consisting of exercising specific parts of the body
such as the legs, arms, hands or neck, in an effort to strengthen muscles,
improve range of motion, re-teach coordination, and generally to rehabilitate
the musculoskeletal system.
The science which studies the functioning of living organisms and their
component systems or parts.
This is a progressive degeneration of the frontal lobes which results in
behavioral and other problems.
This type of difficulty breathing and heart insufficiency is related to extreme
obesity and was discussed in the famous book by Charles Dickens, The Pickwick
A chiropractic technique similar to Sacro-Occipital Technique which involves
contacts and other maneuvers applied to cervical and pelvic areas to produce
effects in remote muscles, organs, and joints. A full-spine x-ray examination is
considered essential for pelvic analysis. This uses a heat-detecting instrument
(Derma Therm-O-Graph) to monitor subluxation correction.
This is a common term used to describe nerve irritation and pain, numbness, or
weakness. The nerve is usually compressed by a disc herniation, spinal
stenosis, or foraminal stenosis.
Piriformis Muscle Syndrome
A pinching of the sciatic nerve caused by a hypertrophied pyriformis muscle deep
within the buttocks, this causes leg pain.
A gland at the base of the brain that secretes hormones which then regulate
and controls other hormone-secreting glands and many bodily processes.
An injured person with a legal case under the personal injury
system, or one who complains, is a plaintiff.
The bottom surface of the foot, the
surface on which we walk.
- To bend the ankle downward, to
move the foot toward the downward
Plasma - The watery, straw-colored fluid makes up the majority of the volume of the
blood. The plasma carries the cellular elements of the blood through
Small fragments of cells found in the blood. These
are little plates and cause blood to clot.
This is a straight line formed by a string attached to a hanging weight. It
establishes a vertical line which is straight up and down. In medicine, one
uses a plumb line to make sure that the spine is straight. If the spine is not
straight, it is called an offset from the plumb line.
Point-of-service (POS) insurance plans are managed care plans similar to both
HMOs and PPOs. They offer more choice but typically cost more to purchase.
They reward members for using less care and saving the insurance company money.
A portion of the
brainstem between the midbrain and the medulla, this connects the brain to the
A nuclear scanning procedure that gives three-dimensional views of
various organs and can identify some cancers long before other conventional
The late effects of a severe head injury can include pain as well as difficulty
concentrating and thinking clearly.
Located behind a structure, or referring to an area behind another, such as the
back side of the human body.
Posterior Longitudinal Ligament
tough fibrous band that runs along the backs of the vertebral bones and helps
keep the spinal bones aligned.
Posterior Spinal Artery Syndrome
This is like a stroke of the back of the spinal cord. The back of the cord
loses its blood supply and the posterior columns stop working. This causes
Late damage caused by radiation therapy or from exposure to an atomic weapon.
This includes problems absorbing food and replacing damaged tissues.
Post-lumbar Puncture Syndrome
Headaches following a spinal tap, and sometimes back
pain, are both common. The important thin to remember is that most lumbar
punctures are uneventful and cause no problems.
The late effects of a near fatal injury.
Disease Also known
as David disease, this is from damage to a vertebral bone from tuberculosis.
A tendency to develop a certain disease.
One type of corticosteroid medication, usually used for inflammation.
This is an insurance term which refers to an old
medical problem that was present before the insurance became effective.
Typically an insurance company will not pay for costs related to a preexisting
Preferred provider organizations (PPOs) are managed health care
insurance programs where patients have a limited amount of choice. They are
better and more expensive than HMOs but are not as expensive or as good as
money that the insurance company charges a patient or their employer to provide
coverage for a loss. This is usually a monthly fee. The fee is larger for
better insurance like indemnity insurance and is lower for lesser coverage like
- a form completed by a doctor after each visit; describes the current
complaints, examination findings, treatment advice, etc.
(click here for the form)
- a form completed by a doctor after a patient is "permanent and stationary;"
describes the "subjectives," "objectives," "loss of capacity," and other
(click here for the form).
A statistic that equals the total number of people in
a population with a certain disease at a given time.
Treating Physician (PTP)
- the one doctor, usually selected by the injured worker, who is primarily
responsible for giving care and reporting to the insurance company; applies only
to the California state system.
A prediction of the course of the disease.
A high spot or raised area. A space that is more visible or prominent.
An artificial body part such as an artificial leg or arm. The term prosthesis
is also used to describe some of the implants used in the body, such as a hip or
To turn the palms down or the feet inward. This is the opposite of supinate.
The part nearest the center of the body. It is the opposite of distal.
Literally this means a false joint. It is another term that describes what
happens when a bone does not fuse properly following some spinal surgeries. It
is also called a "non-union," or failure to fuse, and can be painful. It
sometimes requires revision surgery in order to make a solid fusion.
This is a painful condition caused by damage to the sciatic nerve as it passes
under or through the pyriformis muscle, a small triangular muscle in the
buttocks. It cause sciatica or leg pain.
If you are aware of any useful spine and neuromusculoskeletal terms which are
not included in this list, or if you have suggestions for better definitions, your help would be
greatly appreciated. Please send me any upgrades and
I will update the web site appropriately. Click
here to send a comment.