Spondylosis Glossary of Terms

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

Abdominal: Relating to the abdomen, the belly, that part of the body that contains all of ...

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Abdominal muscles: A large group of muscles in the front of the abdomen that assists in th...

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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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Acute: Of abrupt onset, in reference to a disease. Acute often also connotes an illness th...

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Acute pain: Pain that comes on quickly, can be severe, but lasts a relatively shorter peri...

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

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Amitriptyline: An antidepressant medication. In some patients with depression, abnormal l...

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Anesthesia: Loss of feeling or awareness, as when an anesthetic is administered before sur...

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Anesthetic: A substance that causes lack of feeling or awareness, dulling pain to permit s...

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Ankle: The ankle joint is complex. It is made up of two joints: the true ankle joint and ...

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Ankylosing: Having a tendency to stiffen and fuse together.

Ankylosing spondylitis: A form of chronic inflammation of the spine and the sacroiliac joi...

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Anterior: The front, as opposed to the posterior. The anterior surface of the heart is tow...

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Antidepressant: Anything, and especially a drug, used to prevent or treat depression.

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Antidepressants: Anything, and especially a drug, used to prevent or treat depression.

Arms: An appendage in anatomy and in clinical trials. See: Arm.

Arthritis: Inflammation of a joint. When joints are inflamed they can develop stiffness, w...

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

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Bowel: The small and large intestine.

Calcium: A mineral found mainly in the hard part of bones, where it is stored. Calcium is ...

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Capsaicin: Capsaicin is an active component of chili peppers that is used to relieve muscl...

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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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Cervical: Having to do with any kind of neck, including the neck on which the head is perc...

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Chiropractic: A system of diagnosis and treatment based on the concept that the nervous sy...

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

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Chronic pain: Pain (an unpleasant sense of discomfort) that persists or progresses over ...

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Complication: In medicine, an unanticipated problem that arises following, and is a result...

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Compress: Cloth or another material applied under pressure to an area of the skin and held...

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Compression: 1. The act of pressing together. As in a compression fracture, nerve c...

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Cortisone: A naturally occurring adrenocorticoid hormone that is produced in minute amount...

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CT scan: Computerized tomography scan. Pictures of structures within the body created by a...

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Cymbalta: Brand name for duloxetine hydrochloride, a drug approved by the FDA to treat maj...

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Decompression: 1. In general, the removal of pressure.
2. In surgery, ...

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Denervation: Loss of nerve supply. Causes of denervation include disease, chemical toxicit...

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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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Duloxetine: See: Cymbalta.

Dysfunction: Difficult function or abnormal function.

Elavil: See: Amitriptyline.

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

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Epidural: Outside the dura, the outermost, toughest, and most fibrous of the three membran...

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Exacerbate: To make worse. For example, smoking may exacerbate lung disease.

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

FDA: Food and Drug Administration.

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

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Food and Drug Administration: An agency within the US Public Health Service that provides ...

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Genetic: Having to do with genes and genetic
information.

Groin: The area where the thigh meets the hip.

Heart: The muscle that pumps blood received from veins into arteries throughout the body. ...

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Heart disease: Any disorder that affects the heart. Sometimes the term "heart disease" is ...

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

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Herniation: Abnormal protrusion of tissue through an opening.

Homeopathic: Pertaining to homeopathy.

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

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Indicate: In medicine, to make a treatment or procedure advisable because of a particular ...

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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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Lamina: Plates or layers. For example, the lamina arcus vertebrae are plates of bone withi...

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Laminectomy: A surgical procedure in which the posterior arch of a vertebra is removed. La...

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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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Limb: An arm or a leg.

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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Lumbar vertebrae: The five vertebrae situated between the thoracic vertebrae and the sacra...

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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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Neck: The part of the body joining the head to the shoulders. Also, any narrow or constric...

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Neck pain: Neck pain is the sensation of discomfort in the neck area. Neck pain can result...

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

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Nerve compression: Pinching' of a nerve that is due to too much pressure on it. For exampl...

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

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Pain management: The process of providing medical care that alleviates or reduces pain. Mi...

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Pathologic: 1. Indicative of or caused by disease, as in a pathologic fracture, pat...

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

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Pinched nerve: See: Nerve compression.

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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Prescription: A physician's order for the preparation and administration of a drug or dev...

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

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Progressive: Increasing in scope or severity, advancing, or going forward. For example, a ...

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Radiology: The medical specialty concerned with radiation for the diagnosis and treatment ...

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Recurrent: Appearing or occurring again. For example, a recurrent fever is a fever that ha...

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Rheumatoid arthritis: An autoimmune disease characterized by chronic inflammation of joint...

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Sacral: Referring to the sacrum. For example, sacral agenesis is absence of all or part of...

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Sacrum: The large heavy bone at the base of the spine, which is made up of fused sacral v...

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

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Spasm: A brief, automatic jerking movement. A muscle spasm can be quite painful, with the ...

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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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Spine: 1) The column of bone known as the vertebral column, which surrounds and protects ...

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Spondylitis: Inflammation of one or more of the vertebrae of the spine. Diffuse inflammati...

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

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Spondylolysis: The breaking down (dissolution) of a portion of a vertebra. The affected po...

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Spondylosis: Degeneration of the disc spaces between the vertebrae. Spondylosis is common ...

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

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Steroid: One of a large group of chemical substances classified by a specific carbon struc...

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

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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.

Thoracic: Pertaining to the chest. For example, the thoracic aorta is the part of the aort...

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Topical: Pertaining to a particular surface area. For example, a topical agent is applied ...

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Tricyclic antidepressants: One of a class of medications used to treat depression. The tri...

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Trigger: Something that either sets off a disease in people who are genetically predispose...

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Tylenol: See: Acetaminophen.

Vertebra: A vertebra is one of 33 bony segments that form the spinal column of humans. Th...

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Vertebrae: The preferred plural of vertebra. (The alternate plural is vertebras.) See also...

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Weight loss: Weight loss is a decrease in body weight resulting from either voluntary (die...

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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