Sciatica Glossary of Terms

The following are health and medical definitions of terms that appear in the Sciatica article.

Abscess: A local accumulation of pus anywhere in the body. The following are some example...

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Acetaminophen: A nonaspirin pain reliever or analgesic. Acetaminophen may be given alone t...

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Acupuncture: The practice of inserting needles into the body to reduce pain or induce anes...

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Aging: The process of becoming older, a process that is genetically determined and environ...

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Anemia: The condition of having a lower-than-normal number of red blood cells or quantity ...

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Aspirin: Once the Bayer trademark for acetylsalicylic acid, now the common name for this a...

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Back pain: Pain felt in the low or upper back. Causes of pain in the low and upper back in...

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Backbone: The spine. A flexible row of bones stretching from the base of the skull to the...

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Bacteria: Single-celled microorganisms that can exist either as independent (free-living) ...

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Bladder: A hollow organ in the lower abdomen that stores urine. The kidneys filter waste f...

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Blood clot: A mass of coagulated blood. A blood clot can block a major blood vessel, causi...

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Blood count: The calculated number of white or red blood cells (WBCs or RBCs) in a cubic m...

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Blood in the urine: Blood that appears in the urine. Also known as hematuria. Gross hematu...

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Boil: A skin abscess that forms at a hair follicle infected with pus-forming bacteria. The...

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Bone scan: A nuclear medicine technique for creating images of bones on a computer screen ...

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Botox: A highly purified preparation of botulinum toxin A, a toxin produced by the bacteri...

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Botulinum toxin: A toxin produced by the bacterium Clostridium botulinum that is th...

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Bowel: The small and large intestine.

Cancer: An abnormal growth of cells which tend to proliferate in an uncontrolled way and, ...

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Cauda equina: A bundle of spinal nerve roots that arise from the end of the spinal cord. T...

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Cauda equina syndrome: Impairment of the nerves in the cauda equina, characterized by dull...

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CBC: A commonly used abbreviation in medicine that stands for complete blood count, a set...

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Chest: The area of the body located between the neck and the abdomen. The chest contains t...

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Chills: feelings of coldness accompanied by shivering. Chills may develop after exposure t...

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Chronic: In medicine, lasting a long time. A chronic condition is one that lasts 3 months ...

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Complete blood count: A set values of the cellular (formed elements) of blood. These meas...

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Computerized tomography: Pictures of structures within the body created by a computer that...

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Crutch: A wooden or metal vertical prop that helps support a disabled person while he or s...

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Diagnosis: 1 The nature of a disease; the identification of an illness. 2 A ...

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Disc: Shortened terminology for an intervertebral disc, a disk-shaped piece of specialized...

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Emergency department: The department of a hospital responsible for the provision of medica...

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Extremity: An uttermost part of the body, such as a hand or a foot.

Fever: Although a fever technically is any body temperature above the normal of 98.6 F (37...

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Herniated disc: Rupturing of the tissue that separates the vertebral bones of the spinal c...

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Hip pain: Hip pain is the sensation of discomfort in or around the hip joint, where the up...

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HIV: Acronym for the Human Immunodeficiency Virus, the cause of AIDS (acquired immunodefi...

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Ibuprofen: A nonsteroidal anti-inflammatory drug (NSAID) that is commonly used to treat pa...

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Infection: The invasion and multiplication of microorganisms such as bacteria, viruses, an...

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Inflammation: A localized reaction that produces redness, warmth, swelling, and pain as a ...

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Injury: Harm or hurt. To harm, hurt, or wound. The word injure may be in physical or emot...

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Joint: The area where two bones are attached for the purpose of permitting body parts to m...

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Kidney: One of a pair of organs located in the right and left side of the abdomen. The kid...

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Kidney stone: A stone in the kidney or a stone that originates in the kidney but has passe...

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Knee: The knee is a joint which has three parts. The thigh bone (the femur) meets the lar...

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Laboratory: A place for doing tests and research procedures, and for preparing chemicals a...

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Leg: In popular usage, the part of the body from the top of the thigh down to the foot, an...

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Low back pain: Pain in the lower back area that can relate to problems with the lumbar spi...

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Lumbar: Referring to the five lumbar vertebrae, the disks below them, and the correspondin...

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Magnetic resonance imaging: A procedure that uses magnetism, radio waves, and a computer t...

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Medical history: 1. In clinical medicine, the patient's past and present which may ...

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Morphine: A powerful narcotic agent that has strong analgesic (pain relief) action and oth...

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MRI: Magnetic resonance imaging.

Muscle: Muscle is the tissue of the body which primarily functions as a source of power. T...

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Narcotic: 1. A drug that causes insensibility or stupor. A narcotic induces narcosi...

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Nerve: A bundle of fibers that uses electrical and chemical signals to transmit sensory an...

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Nucleus: 1) In cell biology, the structure that houses the chromosomes. 2) In neuroanato...

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Onset: In medicine, the first appearance of the signs or symptoms of an illness as, for ex...

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Osteoarthritis: A type of arthritis caused by inflammation, breakdown, and eventual loss ...

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Osteoporosis: Thinning of the bones, with reduction in bone mass, due to depletion of calc...

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Pain: An unpleasant sensation that can range from mild, localized discomfort to agony. Pa...

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Physical therapy: A branch of rehabilitative health that uses specially designed exercises...

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Piriformis muscle: A muscle that begins at the front surface of the sacrum (the V-shaped b...

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Piriformis syndrome: Irritation of the sciatic nerve that is caused by compression of the ...

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Pregnancy: The state of carrying a developing embryo or fetus within the female body. Thi...

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Prognosis: The forecast of the probable outcome or course of a disease; the patient's chan...

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Pus: A thick, whitish-yellow fluid that results from the accumulation of white blood cells...

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Scan: As a noun, the data or image obtained from the examination of organs or regions of...

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Sciatic nerve: The largest nerve in the body, the sciatic nerve begins from nerve roots in...

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Sciatica: Pain that results from irritation of the sciatic nerve and typically radiates fr...

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Sedimentation rate: A blood test that detects and monitors inflammation in the body. Abbre...

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Shock: In medicine, a critical condition that is brought on by a sudden drop in blood flow...

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Sleep: The body's rest cycle.

Slipped disc: Rupturing of the tissue that separates the vertebral bones of the spinal col...

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Sore: 1. (adjective) A popular term for painful, such as a sore throat. 2. (...

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Spinal cord: The major column of nerve tissue that is connected to the brain and lies with...

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Spinal stenosis: Narrowing of the spinal canal. Spinal stenosis is most commonly caused by...

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Spondylolisthesis: Forward movement of one vertebra in relationship to an adjacent vertebr...

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Stenosis: A narrowing. For example, aortic stenosis is a narrowing of the aortic valve in ...

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Surgery: The branch of medicine that employs operations in the treatment of disease or inj...

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Symptom: Any subjective evidence of disease. In contrast, a sign is objective. Blood comin...

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Syndrome: A combination of symptoms and signs that together represent a disease process.

Therapy: The treatment of disease. Therapy is synonymous with treatment.

Tomography: The process for generating a tomogram, a two-dimensional image of a slice or s...

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Toxin: A poison produced by certain animals, plants, or bacteria.

Tumor: An abnormal mass of tissue. Tumors are a classic sign of inflammation, and can be ...

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Tylenol: See: Acetaminophen.

Urinalysis: A test that is done in order to analyze urine. Because toxins and excess fluid...

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Urine: Liquid waste produced by the kidneys. Urine is a clear, transparent fluid that norm...

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X-ray: High-energy radiation with waves shorter than those of visible light. X-ray is used...

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Medical Dictionary