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the kneelsit GLOSSARY Pg.1
medical and general terms relating to
posture, sitting, musculoskeletal and back problems
ABBREVIATIONS:- Gr.= Greek; L.= Latin; Fr.= French; Ger = German; NA =
Note. The principal source for the glossary has been
extracts from the excellent Taberers Medical Dictionary, supplemented
occasionally by Websters and in a few areas (clearly marked) my own
research and observations.
Our thanks to Glossarist.com for
including our glossary in their
Medical Dictionary page. If you are looking for definitions of
technical, professional, specialist terms in any subject this is the place to
arthritis (Ar-thri'tis) [" + itis, inflammation]. (pl.
arthritides) Inflammation of a joint, usually accompanied by pain,
swelling, and, frequently, changes in structure.
ETIOL: Arthritis may result from or be associated with a number of
conditions including: infection (gonococcal, tuberculous, pneumococcal);
rheumatic fever; ulcerative colitis; trauma; neurogenic disturbances
such as tabes dorsalis; degenerative joint disease such as
osteoarthritis; metabolic disturbances such as gout; neoplasms such as
synovioma; hydrarthrosis; para- or periarticular conditions such as
fibromyositis, myositis, or bursitis; various other conditions such as
acromegaly, psoriasis, Raynaud's disease.
a., osteo-. A chronic disease involving the joints, esp.
those bearing weight. Characterized by degeneration of articular
cartilage, overgrowth of bone with lipping and spur formation, and
impaired function. SYN: a., degenerative; a., hypertrophic; degenerative
a., palindromic. Transient recurrent arthritis, of
unknown etiology, of large joints.
a., psoriatic. A form of arthritis that may develop after
psoriasis has developed. The exacerbations and remissions of arthritic
symptoms parallel those of psoriasis.
a., rheumatoid. A chronic systemic disease characterized
by inflammatory changes in joints and related structures that result in
ETIOL: The specific cause is unknown, but it is generally believed that
the pathological changes in the joints are related to an
antigen-antibody reaction that is poorly understood. Environmental and
familial factors are of doubtful importance. Onset may vary, but usually
occurs in middle age.
TREAT: There is no specific therapy. If the condition is severe and
painful, bedrest may be required for a short time. The salicylates, such
as aspirin and sodium salicylate, are the most commonly used drugs in
treating rheumatoid arthritis. Gold compounds, anti-inflammatory agents
such as naproxen, indomethacin, and ibuprofen, and corticosteroids (for
short-term anti-inflammatory use only) are also used in treatment.
Intra-articular injection of certain corticosteroids is useful in
treating acute inflammation of synovial tissue of one or two painful
joints. This local treatment is effective for up to 21 days and may be
used to allow a patient to remain ambulatory. Local or systemic use of
corticosteroids does not cure the basic disease process or prevent the
progression of pathological changes in the joint.
Caution: Long-term use of corticosteroids is
contraindicated due to the development of undesired side effects.
The use of exercise and physiotherapy are important in maintaining
range of motion of the affected joints. Until the inflammatory
response has subsided, passive exercise is employed to prevent
contractures. When inflammation has subsided, active exercise is used to
maintain muscle strength and range of motion. A variety of self-help
services are available for patients with severe limitation of joint
movement, thus enabling these patients to remain self-sufficient. The
use of surgical procedures such as arthroplasty and total hip
replacement has been effective in very severe forms of rheumatoid
NURSING IMPLICATIONS: Evaluate patient for symptoms of joint
inflammation, such as redness, swelling, pain, and reduced mobility of
joints. Also evaluate for fatigue, irritability, and temperature
elevation. Inflamed joints should be splinted to prevent contractures
and maintain range of motion with gentle passive exercise. When
inflammation has subsided, use warm baths or soaks to joints before
active range of motion. Administer ordered medications, evaluate
response, and teach patient about side effects that should be reported.
Explain rationale for short-term use of corticosteroids and need for
tapering dosage rather than abrupt discontinuance. Encourage total body
rest and adequate nutrition. Provide information on self-help devices
and support groups.
articular (ar-tik'u-lar) [L.articularis] .Pert. to
articulate (ar-tik'u-lat) [L. articulatus, jointed]. 1.
To join together as a joint.
articulated (ar-tik'u-lat'd). State of articulation or
of being jointed.
articulation. l. The place of union between two or more
bones; a joint. It is classified as being immovable (synarthrosis),
slightly movable (amphiarthrosis), or freely movable (diarthrosis).
Cartilage, or fibrous or soft tissue lines the opposing surfaces of all
a., apophyseal. The joint between the superior and the
inferior articulating processes of the vertebrae.
back. 1. The dorsum. 2. The posterior region of the trunk
from neck to pelvis.
Misuse of the back is common among those whose duties include care of
the sick. Therefore, it is important to learn basic concepts in care of
backache. Any pain in the back. Usually characterized by
dull, continuous pain and tenderness in the muscles or their attachments
in the lower lumbar, lumbosacral, or sacroiliac regions. Pain is often
referred to the leg, following the distribution of the sciatic nerve.
ETIOL: Infection or abnormality in another part of the body such as
uterine or prostatic disorders; disorders of the vertebral column such
as intervertebral disk abnormality; local disturbances such as lumbar
or sacral fractures, lumbosacral strain or sprain; structural
inadequacies of supporting ligaments of the spinal column; muscle
injury, spasm, myositis, or inflammation of fascial attachments;
TREAT: Treat specific primary cause. General treatment includes
measures to allay pain and discomfort such as analgesics, preferably
salicylates or other nonsteroidal anti-inflammatory agents, muscle
relaxants, heat., whirlpool. Tender areas or trigger points may be
anesthetized by local infiltration with 1% procaine or topical
application of ethyl chloride spray. Special measures to relax tense
muscles and improve blood flow are helpful. Orthopedic supports and
strapping if necessary in special cases. Muscle retraining.
Psychotherapy when necessary, esp. in excessive muscle tension resulting
from emotional disturbances. backbone. The vertebral column; spinal
balance. (wbst.) n. 1. bodily equilibrium as
'he kept his balance on a tightrope',
2. mental or emotional equilibrium.
3. an equality of weight, equipoise or just proportion
v.i. to be in equilibrium.
balance beam. In occupational therapy a device, usually
consisting of a narrow beam elevated several inches from the floor, used
for assessing and training balance and motor coordination.
balance board. Device, usually consisting of a padded platform
mounted on a curved base, commonly used in therapy with children having
CNS deficits. Designed to facilitate the development of appropriate
equilibrium-related postural reflexes.
biofeedback. (webst.) n. a technique of seeking to
control certain emotional states, such as anxiety or depression by
training oneself with the aid of electronic devices to modify bodily
functions such as blood pressure or heartbeat.
feedback: a process in which the factors that produce a
result are themselves modified, corrected, strenghtened etc. by that
body composition. Quantitation of the various components
of the body, esp. of the fat, water, protein, and bone mineral.
Determination of the specific gravity of the body is done to estimate
the percent fat. This may be calculated by various methods, including
underwater weighing, which determines the density of the individual; use
of radioactive potassium, K, measuring the total body water by dilution
of tritium; and use of various anthropometric measurements such as
height, weight, and skin fold thickness at various sites. None of these
methods is free of the potential for error. Underwater weighing is
useful but may provide misleading information when used in analyzing
body composition of highly trained athletes. The obese person has a
lower body density than does the lean person, because the specific
gravity of fat tissue is less than that of muscle tissue. The fat
content for young men will vary from about 5% to 27% and for women from
about 18% to 35%.
body image. 1. The subjective image or picture people
have of their physical appearance based on their own observations and
the reactions of others.
2. The conscious and unconscious perception of our body at any
bone [AS. ban, bone]. 1. Osseous tissue, a specialized
form of dense connective tissue consisting of bone cells (osteocytes)
embedded in a matrix made up of calcified intercellular substance. Bones
provide shape and support for the body of vertebrates. They also serve
as storage sites for mineral salts, and play an important role in
providing in the marrow a site for the formation of blood cells. Bone
consists of about 50% water and 50% solid matter, the solids being
chiefly cartilage hardened by impregnation with inorganic salts, esp.
carbonate and phosphate of lime. The proportion of lime in bone
gradually increases, and in old age there is such a large proportion
that the bones are brittle and break easily. They surround and protect
some vital organs, and give points of attachment for the muscles,
serving as levers and making movement possible. The outer surface is
less porous than the inner and is called the compact tissue; the more
porous portion is called cancellous tissue. The compact tissue is
tunneled by a central canal containing marrow and fine branching canals
small blood vessels and lymphatics for the maintenance and repair of
bone tissue run in these canals. This is known as the haversian system.
The exterior covering of the bone or periosteum, serves to extend the
blood supply to the bone. According to their shape, bones are classified
as flat, irregular, long, and short. For depressions, openings, and
cavities in bones SEE: antrum (nearly enclosed cavity); canal, fissure
(slitlike opening); foramen (opening for blood vessels and nerves);
fossa (concavity); groove; meatus (tubelike passage or opening; canal);
sinus (air cavity within a bone; or groove lodging a blood sinus);
sulcus (groove). For names of principal bones: SEE: skeletons.
Brain. (bran) [AS. braegenj.] A large
soft mass of nerve tissue contained within the cranium. Cranial portion
of the central nervous system. SYN: encephalon. PHYS: The brain is the
primary center for regulating and coordinating body activities. Sensory
impulses are received through afferent nerves; these register as
sensations, which are the basis for perception. It is the seat of
consciousness, thought, memory, reason, judgment, and emotion. Motor
impulseses are discharged through efferent nerves to muscles and glands
initiating activities. Through reflex centers automatic control of body
activities is maintained. The most important reflex centers are the
cardiac, vasomotor, and respiratory centers, which regulate circulation
and respiration. SEE: central nervous system; spinal cord.
Calcification. (kal-si-fi-ka-shun). Process in which
organic tissue becomes hardened by the deposition of lime salts in the
c., arterial. Deposition of calcium in walls of arteries.
c., metastatic. Calcification of soft tissue with transference of
calcium from bone, as in osteomalacia and disease of the parathyroid
c., Monckeberg's. Calcium deposit, in the media of arteries. calcific
tendinitis. Deposition of calcium in chronically inflamed tendon, esp.
the tendons of the shoulder.
calcium (kal'se-um) [L. calx, lime]. SYMB: Ca. At. wt.
40-08; at. no: 20. Silver-white metallic element, a major component of
limestone. Lime, CaO, is its oxide. Calcium phosphate constitutes 75% of
body ash and about 85% of mineral matter in bones. SEE: calci-" words, :
FUNCT: Calcium must be carried by the blood in solution in order to be
available for bone growth and metabolism. Unless certain activating
substances, such as vitamin D, are Present, increased calcium intake
does not affect the tissues or blood calcium, The secretions of the
parathyroid glands are a factor in the utilization of calcium, making it
possible for the blood to carry dissolved calcium. Several factors
influence absorption of calcium from -the gastrointestinal tract:
quantities of bread, rice, oatmeal, and corn in the diet decrease
absorption of calcium and phosphorus; and the normal alkalinity of the
small intestines promotes the formation of insoluble calcium salts.
Calcium is of great importance in blood coagulation; gives firmness and,
rigidity to bones and teeth; is important in acid-base balance; is
essential for lactation; is important in activating enzymes; is
essential for the function of nerves and muscles, including the
myocardium, and for maintaining the permeability of membranes. Calcium
is taken into the body as a constituent of various foods. While much of
it may prove insoluble and escape absorption, Some of it passes through
the intestine into the blood, where it can be measured by chemical
tests. Its level in the serum is normally 8.5 to 10.5 mg/dl. Low blood
calcium causes tetany with muscular twitching, spasms, and convulsions.
Blood deprived of its calcium will not clot and it is essential for the
curdling of milk. Calcium is deposited in the bones but can be mobilized
again to keep the blood level constant when there is a period of
insufficient intake. At any given time the body of an adult contains
about 700 gm of calcium Phosphate; of this, 120 gm are the element
calcium. Ordinarily an adult takes in 0.8 gm of calcium per day. During
pregnancy, 1.3 gm of calcium a day will be required. SOURCES: Excellent.
Beans; cauliflower; chard; cheese; cream; egg yolk; kale; milk;
molasses; rhubarb. Good: Almonds, beets; bran; cabbage; carrots; celery;
chocolates; dates; figs; kohlrabi; lemons-, lettuce oranges; oysters;
parsnips; pineapples; rasberries; rutabagas; shellfish; spinach;
turnips, walnuts; watercress. DEFICIENCY: Symptoms are brittle bones,
poor development of bones and teeth, dental caries, rickets, tetany,
heart atony, hyperirritability, excessive bleeding. Laboratory error
and variation may be the cause of inaccurate or inconsistent values in
evaluating the calcium level. .
cartilage (karti-lij) [L. cartilago, gristle]. A
specialized type of dense connective tissue consisting of cells embedded
in a ground substance or matrix. The matrix is firm and compact,
rendering it capable of withstanding considerable pressure or tension.
Cartilage has a bluish-white or gray color and is semi-opaque; it has no
nerve or blood supply of its own. The cells lie in cavities called
lacunae. They may be single or in groups of two, three, or four.
Caplan's syndrome, [Anthony Caplan, Brit. physician,
1907 - 1976. Rheumatoid arthritis with progressive massive fibrosis of
the lung in coal miners and in other pneumoconioses. SYN. rheumatoid
carpal.[Gr. karpalis]. Pert. to the carpus or wrist.
carpale (kar-pale) [Gr. karpos]. Any wrist bone.
Carpal tunnel. The canal in the wrist bounded by
osteofibrous material through which the flexor tendons and the median
carpal tunnel syndrome. Soreness, tenderness, and
weakness of the muscles of the thumb caused by pressure on the median
nerve at the point at which it goes through the carpal tunnel of the
wrist. TREAT: Surgical relief of tension if conservative therapy fails.
Cartilage constitutes a part of the skeleton in adults,
occurring in the costal cartilages of the ribs, the nasal septum, in the
external ear and lining the eustachian tube, in the wall of the larynx,
in the trachea and bronchi, between bodies of the vertebrae, and
covering the articular surfaces of bones. It forms the major portion of
the embryonic skeleton, providing a model in which most bones develop.
c., articular. Hyaline cartilage covering the articular
surfaces of bones.
c., costal. Cartilage connecting the true ribs and the
c., fibrous. Cartilage containing visible collagenic
fibers. SYN: fibrocartilage.
c., semilunar. One of the interarticular cartilages of
the knee joint.