Glossary

Acute Of short duration and relatively severe.
Adjustment The specific application of forces used to facilitate the body’s correction of nerve interference. This can be accomplished through manual practices or with the use of an Activator Device.
Anterior Toward the front of the body.
Arthritis Inflammation of a joint which is often accompanied by symptoms and changes in structure.
Atlas The uppermost and most freely movable bone of the spine.
Biomechanics The application of mechanical laws to living structures.
Axis The second cervical vertebra.
Bone Spur A bony outgrowth. A calcium deposition which can be part of the body’s response to abnormal motion or position of bones in the spine
or elsewhere.
Cervical The vertebrae of the neck, usually seven bones.
Chiropractic A primary health care profession in which professional responsibility and authority are focused on the anatomy of the spine and immediate
articulation, and the condition of nerve interference. It is also a practice, which encompasses educating, advising about and addressing nerve interference.
Chronic Persisting for a long period of time. A problem showing little change or with a slow progression.
Coccyx A series of small bones below the sacrum that are also known as the tailbone.
Compensation Reaction A new problem that results from the body’s attempt to respond to a problem elsewhere.
Compression Lesion A malfunctioning spinal bone or soft tissue that puts direct pressure on a nerve, distorting its function. A relatively
rare phenomenon that is commonly referred to as a pinched nerve. (See Facilitative Lesion)
Degeneration Your spinal bones begin to deform; your discs swell, then shrink; your ligaments, tendons and muscles begin to harden and weaken; and your entire spinal column loses its balance, flexibility, stability and strength.
Disc A cartilage (cushion/pad) that separates spinal vertebrae, absorbs shocks to the spine, protects the nervous system and assists in creating the four normal curves of spine. A disc can bulge, herniated or rupture, but because of the way they connect to the vertebrae above and below, a disc can’t ‘slip.’
Edema A condition in which fluid fills a damaged joint area causing swelling; similar to the swelling of a sprained ankle or black eye.
Extremity Lower or upper limbs, such as a leg or arm.
Facet The joint surface of a spinal bone, facing the adjacent bone above or below.
Facilitative Lesion A twisting, stretching, chafing or irritation of nerve tissue from malfunctioning spinal structures.
Fixation Being held in a fixed position. “Stuck.” A joint with restricted movement.
Foramen An opening, a hole or passageway in a bone for blood vessels or nerves.
Health A state of optimal physical, mental and social well-being and not merely the absence of disease and infirmity. When your body works the way it was designed to work.
Herniation A protrusion of an organ or part of an organ through the wall that normally contains it.
Hypermobility Too much movement.
Hypomobility Restricted movement.
Ilium One of the two large bones that form the pelvis; the hipbone.
Inflammation A reaction of soft tissue due to injury that may include malfunction, discomfort, rise in temperature, swelling and increased blood supply.
Intervertebral Foramina The lateral opening through which spinal nerve roots exit each side of the spinal column formed by each spinal joint.
Kyphosis A backward displacement in the lateral curve of the spine.
Lateral The side view of the body.
Ligament A band or sheet of fibrous connective tissue that binds joints together.
Lordosis The forward curve of the spine. Normally found in the cervical and lumbar areas of the spine.
Lumbar The vertebrae of the lower back, usually five bones.
Manipulation The forceful passive movement of a joint beyond its active limit of motion. It does not imply the use of precision, specificity or the correction of nerve interference. Therefore, it is not synonymous with chiropractic adjustment.
Nucleus Pulposus The gelatinous mass in the center of a spinal disc.
Occipital Pertaining to the lower, posterior portion of the head or skull which rests on the spinal column.
Palpation Examining the spine with your fingers; the art of feeling with the hands.
Pinched Nerve (See Compressive Lesion)
Posterior Toward the back of the body.
Range of motion The range, measured in degrees of a circle, through which a joint can be moved.
Reflex An involuntary action resulting from a stimulus.
Sacrum The triangular bone at the base of the spine.
Sacroiliac The two joints where the pelvis (hip) connects to the sacrum.
Sacrum The triangular bone at the base of the spine.
Sciatica A Pain that radiates from the lower back into the buttocks and down the back of one or both legs caused by the irritation of the sciatic nerves, the largest nerves of the body.
Scoliosis Looking from the back, a sideways curvature of the spine.
Slipped Disc An incorrect name given a situation in which a disc becomes wedge-shaped and bulges. In extreme cases, pressure can cause a disc to tear or rupture.
Spasm A constant contraction or tightening of a muscle.
Spinous Process The protruding part of the back of each spinal bone that can be seen or felt when examining the spine.
Subluxation A misalignment or malfunction of the spine that is less than a total dislocation, which affects the nervous system and its ability to correctly control or monitor the organs and tissues of the body.
Tendon Fibrous tissue that connects muscles with bones.
Thoracic Pertaining to the 12 vertebrae of the middle back from the base of the neck to about six inches above the waistline to which the ribs attach.
Torticollis A contracted state of the neck muscles that produces a twisting of the neck and unnatural position of the head.
Traction The act of drawing or exerting a pulling force, as along the long axis of a structure.
Transverse Process Lateral protrusions (wings) on the side of each vertebrae to which powerful muscles and ligaments attach.
Trigger Point An involuntarily tight band of muscle that is painful when pressed and can refer pain to other parts of the body.
Vertebra Any of the individual bones of the spinal column.
Vertebral Subluxation Complex Types of pathology resulting from a Vertebral Subluxation including kinesiopathology, neuropathophysiology, myopathology, hisopathology,
and pathophysiology.
Whiplash An injury to the spine caused by an abrupt jerking motion, either backward, forward or from the side.