Back Care Glossary
Below is a list of the medical terms you might hear mentioned by health professions talking about back pain:
Abdominal : The are of your body including; stomach, intestines and other digestive organs.
Acupuncture : Where fine needles are used to control the bodies energy flows.
Ankylosing Spondylitis : A painful disease that causes joints to swell up and the bones to fuse together.
Bilateral : On both sides of the body.
Cervical: The seven vertebrae that make up the neck.
Coccyx : The last bone of the spine, often referred to as the tail bone. It is made up of four tiny joined vertebrae.
Conservative Management : Non-surgical treatment of back problems.
Degeneration of the disk : The disks between the vertebrae break up as they become more rigid, this restricts movement of the spine.
Facet Joints : The point where two vertebrae meet and rub against each other.
Inflammation : Tenderness, heat pain and swelling caused by the body's reaction to injury or disease.
Nerve root : The start of the nerve leaving the spinal cord.
Occupational Therapist : Also known as OTs, are health professionals who help people live independently at home.
Orthopaedic : The division of medicine that deals with problems of the skeleton.
Pelvis : The bone structure at the base of the spine that supports the legs. It consists of the hip bone, sacrum and coccyx.
Sacrum : The solid, flat area at the bottom of the spine that forms the back of the pelvis. It consists of five fused vertebrae.
Sciatica : A pain that runs along the Sciatic nerve, and down the back of the leg.
Scoliosis : A sideways curve of the spine.
Spinal Canal : The running down the length of the spine. It contains the spinal cord.
Spinal Stenosis : A narrowing of the spinal canal. Often putting pressure on the nerves.
Spondylolisthesis : A condition where one vertebra slips out of alignment with another.
Spondylosis : A condition of the spine which results from wear and tear, causing the disks to narrow.