Common Terms used by a Chiropractor
Acute – Of short duration and relatively severe.
Adjustment – A form of manipulation, where the application of force is of a high velocity – low amplitude thrust.
Atlas – The uppermost and most freely movable bone of the spine.
Cervical – The vertebrae of the neck, usually seven bones.
Chronic – Persisting for a long period of time.
Disc – A cartilage (cushion/pad) that separates spinal vertebrae, absorbs shocks to the spine, and protects the nerve system.
Facet – The actual joint surface of a spinal bone, facing the adjacent bone above or below.
Health – A state of optimal physical, mental, and social well-being and not merely the absence of disease and infirmity.
Herniation – Condition of the intervertebral disc, whereby some of the material which makes up the disc shifts to a position which irritates the nearby nerve for that spinal area.
Intervertebral Foramina – The lateral opening through which spinal nerve roots exit the spinal column.
Lumbar – The vertebrae of the lower back, usually 5 bones.
Nerve System – The telephone communication center of the body. All information from outside the body and from inside the body must pass through this system. The two parts of the nerve system include the Central and Peripheral Nerve systems.
Nerves – The extensions which branch off of the brain and spinal cord and carry information to all parts of the body.
Palpation – Examining the spine with your fingers; the art of feeling with the hand.
Range-Of-Motion – This is a description for the amount of movement which occurs at a particular joint or region of the body, such as the lumbar spine. In the spinal column, there are six (6) different movements which may occur. These include flexion (bending forward), extension (bending backward), rotation (twisting right and left) and lateral flexion (bending to each side, right and left).
Sacrum – The triangular bone at the base of the spine.
Spinal Column – The bones of the back. The spinal column protects the spinal cord and allows for movement of the body in various ranges of motion. There are 24, movable bones (also known as vertebrae), plus a sacrum and a coccyx at the bottom of this column which is surrounded by the bony pelvis.
Spinal Cord – The extension of the brain. Coming off of the spinal cord are 31 pairs of spinal nerves which communicate with the body as a whole. The spinal cord is protected by the Spinal Column.
Spinous Process – A posterior protruding part of the spinal bone that can be seen or felt when examining the spine.
Thoracic – Pertaining to the part of the spinal column from the base of the neck to about six inches above the waistline.
Transverse Process (TP) – Lateral protrusions of bone from the vertebrae to which powerful muscles and ligaments attach.
Vertebrae – The individual bones of the spinal column. There are three (3) areas of vertebrae: a cervical, thoracic and lumbar area.