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Massage Exam, License and Certification Information by State

Massage Therapy Terminology & Glossary




Actions
Bone
Bony Landmarks
Complementary Alternative Medicine
Contraindication
CPR
Essencial Oils
Hormons
Joints
Ligaments
Modalities
Muscles
Nerves
O&I
Physiology of Strokes

SOAP

PA & Gait

Tendons
Professional Ethics & Guidlines
Abbreviations
Research
Actions
Synergists
Antagonists
Root/o
Prefix-
~Suffix
Herbs
Medical Drugs
Recreational Drugs
Pathologies
Treatment Techniques
Assessment Tests

 

A

 

 
Info Link
A-AB
A
Assessment and Diagnosis Data for SOAP charting format.  
AAPC
American Academy of Procedural Coders in Salt Lake City UT.  
A-, An-
Absence or lack of; Anaerobic the absence of oxygen, and Acardia the lack of a heart; Not; No; Without  
Ab-
Away or departing from; ABduction, away from midline  
Abandonment
To withdraw support, especially in spite of duty, allegiance, or responsibility. Unilateral termination of care by the EMT without the patient's consent and without making provisions for transferring care to another medical professional with the skills and training necessary to meet the needs of the patient.
Abatacept (Rx)
Brand name; Orencia. Generic name; Abatacept. Classified as an immunosuppressant. It reduces symptoms of moderate to severe rheumatoid arthritis, used in the treatment of Rheumatoid arthritis. It works by weakening your immune system and decreasing inflammation. Clients who take Orencia may experience dizziness, headache, or mild pain at injection site. It is best to use caution around injection site.
Abdomen
The body cavity that contains the major organs of digestion and excretion; region located below the diaphragm and above the pelvis.
Abdomin/o
Abdomen  
Abdominal aortic aneurysm (AAA)
A condition in which the walls of the aorta in the abdomen weaken and blood leaks into the layers of the vessel, causing it to bulge.
Abdominal-thrust maneuver
The preferred method to dislodge a severe airway obstruction in adults and children; also called the Heimlich maneuver.
ABduction
Lateral movement away from the midline of the trunk; motion of a limb away from the midline.
Abortion
Termination of pregnancy before the embryo or fetus is viable outside the uterus.
Abrasion
Damage to the epidermis and dermis from shearing forces; commonly referred to as a scrape; loss or damage of the superficial layer of skin as a result of a body part rubbing or scraping across a rough or hard surface.
Abruptio placenta
A premature separation of the placenta from the wall of the uterus.
Absorption
The movement of food molecules from the digestive tract to the circulatory or lymphatic systems; the process by which medications travel through body tissues until they reach the bloodstream.
Abuse
The improper use, handling, or treatment, often to unfairly or improperly gain benefit.  
AC
 
~ac
Pertaining to  
Acanth/o
Spiny; Thorny  
Acar/o
Mites  
Access
Gaining entry to an enclosed area and reaching a patient.
Access port
A sealed hub on an abministration set designed for sterile access to the intravenous fluid.
Accessory muscles
The secondary muscles of respiration; including the neck (SCM or SternoCleidoMastoid), the chest (pectoralis major), and the abdominal muscles.
Accommodation
Adaptation in response to differences or changing needs; Adjustement of the eye for seeing objects at a close range.
Accountability
An obligation or willingness to accept responsibility or to account for one's actions and consequences.  
Acetabul/o
Acetabulum (hip socket)  
Acetabulum
The rounded cavity on the external surface of the coxal bone; the head of the femur articulates with the acetabulum to form the coxal joint; the depression on the lateral pelvis where its three component bones (pubis, ischium, and ilium) join, in which the femoral head fits snugly.
Acetaminophen (Rx)
Brand names; Anacin, Feverall, Panadol, and Tylenol. Generic name; Acetaminophen. Classified as a Nonopioid pain reliever. It reduces fever and is a mild analgesic used in the treatment of Degenerative Disc Disease (DDD), frozen shoulder, migraine headache, tension headache, fibromyalgia, rheumatoid arthritis, sprains and strains, tendinosis, and transmandibular joint dysfunction (TMJD). It works by elevating the body's overall pain threshold so you feel less pain. It also eliminates excess heat for fever reducing. Clients who take Anacin, Feverall, Panadol, and Tylenol may experience liver damage from prolonged use. It is best to use deep massage with caution and be aware of decreased pain perception.

WebMD.com

Drugs.com

Tylenol.com

RxList

Acetaminophen and Codeine (Rx)
Brand name; Tylenol #3. Generic name; Acetaminophen and Codeine. Classified as a Narcotic. It relieves moderate to severe pain and is used in the treatment of Migraine headaches. It works by changing how your body feels in response to pain. Clients who take Tylenol #3 may experience headache, drowsiness, dizziness, dry mouth, nausea, or vomiting. It is best to offer water, adjust positioning when needed, and help client on/off the table.
Acetylcholine
A neurotransmitter that stimulates the parasympathetic nervous system (PNS) and the skeletal muscles and is involved in memory.
Achilles tendon
The tendon that attaches the calf muscles to the calcaneus, or heel bone; also called the calcaneal tendon.
Acid
A substance that liberates hydrogen ions when in an aqueous solution; compare with base.
Acidosis
A condition in which the blood has an excess hydrogen ion concentration and a decreased pH; a pathologic condition that results from the accumulation of acids in the body.
Acne
A chronic inflammation of the sebaceous glands and hair follicles caused by intractions between bacteria, sebum, and sex hormones.
Acou-
Hearing; Acoustics= sound science.  
Acous/o
Hearing  
Acoust/o
Hearing, sound  
Ac-, Acro-
Peak, Extreme or Extremity; Acromion= Peak of scapula.  
Acr/o
Extremeties; Top; Extream point  
Acromi/o
Acromion (Extension of the shoulder bone)  
Acromioclavicular (AC) joint
A plane or gliding joint where the body projections of the scapula and the clavicle meet at the top of the shoulder.
Acromion
The outer projection of the spine of the scapula; the highest point of the shoulder.
Acrosome
An enzyme-containing structure covering the nucleus of the sperm.
Actin/o
Light  
Actin
A contractile protine of muscle.
Action
The therapeutic effect of a medication on the body.
Action Potential
An electrical event occurring when a stimulus of sufficient intensity is applied to a neuron or muscle cell, allowing sodium ions to move into the cell and reverse the polarity.
Activate
To become active; Make active or more active.  
Activated charcoal
Form of charcoal with a high surface area that is specially formulated to bind to substances; used to prevent absorption of swallowed substances from the intestine; an oral medication that binds and absorbs ingested toxins in the gastrointestinal tract for treatment of some poisonings and medication overdoses; charcoal is ground into a very fine powder that provides the greatest possible surface area for binding medications that have been taken by mouth; it is carried on the EMS unit.
Active Duty Personnel
Government service personnel on current assignment with one of the uniformed services.  
Active Immunity
Immunity produced by an encounter with an antigen; provides immunologic memory.
Active transport
The transport of substances into or out of a cell using energy; net movement of a substance across a membrane against a concentration orelectrical gradient; requires release and use of cellular energy.
Activities of daily living
The basic activities a person usually accomplishes during a normal day, such as eating, dressing, and bathing.
Acu/o
Sharp; Severe; Sudden  
~acusis
Hearing  
Acupuncture
The practice of inserting needles ar specific points on meridians, or channels, to stimulate or sedate energy flow to regulate or alter body function. A branch of Chinese medicine, acupuncture is the art and science of manipulating the flow of Qi, the basic life force, and xue, the blood, body fluids, and nourishing essences. Western medicine uses acupuncture primarily to reduce pain. Acupressure, which uses digital pressure, follows the same Asian principles.
Acupressure
A system of balancing the body’s energy by applying pressure to specific acupoints to release tension and increase circulation. The many hands-on methods of stimulating the acupressure points can strengthen weaknesses, relieve common ailments, prevent health disorders and restore the body’s vital life force.  
Acute abdomen
A condition of sudden onset of pain within the abdomen, usually indicating peritonitis; immediate medical or surgical treatment is necessary.
Acute coronary syndrome
A term used to describe a group of symptoms caused by myocardial ischemia; includes angina and myocardial infarction.
Acute disease
Disease that has a specific beginning, signs, and symptoms that develop quickly, last a short time, and then disappear
Acute myocardial infarction (AMI)
A heart attack; death of heart muscle following obstruction of blood flow to it. Acute in this context means "new" or "happening right now."
Acute stress reactions
Reactions to stress that occurs during a stressful situation.
Acute pain
Pain that is usually temporary, of sudden onset, and easily localized. Acute pain can be a symptom of a disease process or a temporary aspect of medical treatment. Acting as a warning signal, acute pain activates the sympathetic nervous system (SNS).
Acyclovir (Rx)
Brand name; Zovirax. Generic name; Acyclovir. Classified as an Antiviral. It kills specific viruses used in the treatment of Bell's palsy. It works by slowing the growth and spread of herpes virus in the body, it is not a cure, it only lessens the symptoms of the infection. Clients who take Zovirax may experience hypotension, headache, or dry mouth. It is best to offer water, adjust positioning when needed, and help client on/off the table.

WebMD.com

Drugs.com

RxList.com

RxList

AD
 
Ad-
Toward or To; ADduction= Toward the midline  
~ad
Toward  
Adam's apple
The firm prominence in the upper part of the larynx formed by the thyroid cartilage. It is more prominent in men than in women.
Adaptation
Any change in structure or response to suit a new environment; decline in the transmission of a sensory nerve when a receptor is stimulated continuosly and without change in stimulus intensity.
Addiction
A state of overwhelming obsession or physical need to continue the use of a drug or agent.
ADduct
To move toward the midline of the body.
ADduction
A medical movement toward the midline of the body; motion of a limb toward the midline.
Aden-, Adeno-
Gland; Adeniform= Gland Shaped; Adenohypophysis= Glandular undergrowth.  
Aden/o
Gland  
Adenoid/o
Adenoids  
Adenosine triphosphate (ATP)
A compound that stores energy in the muscles. When ATP is broken down during catabolic reactions, it releases energy; the nucleotide involved in energy matabolism; used to store energy.
Adhesion
Abnormal adherence of collagen fibers to surrounding structures during immobilization, following trauma or as a complication of surgery, which restricts normal elasticity of the structures involved
Adip/o
Fat  
Adipose
Fatty
Admitting Physician
The physician who arranged for the patient's admission to the hospital but who does not necessarily have control over the patient's care (see attending physician).  
Adolescents
Persons who are 12 to 18 years of age.
Adren-
Toward the Kidney; Adrenal gland= Adjacent to kidney.  
Adren/o
Adrenal Gland  
Adrenal/o
Adrenal Gland  
Adrenal glands
Hormone-producing glands located superior to the kidneys; each consists of a medulla and cortex areas; endocrine glands located on top of the kidneys that release adrenaline when stimulated by the sympathetic nervous system (SNS).
Adrenergic
Stimulation of the sympathetic nourvous system (SNS) causing a release of epinephrine and similar neurotransmitters and hormons; pertaining to nerves that release the neurotransmitter norepinephrine, or noradrenaline (such as adrenergic nerves, adrenergic response); the term also pertains to the receptors acted on by norepinephrine, that is, the adrenergic receptors.
Adrenergic fibers
Nerve fibers that release norepinephrine.
Adsorption
The process of binding or sticking to a surface.
Adult Primary Policy
The patient is the policyholder or subscriber; the person responsible for purchasing the policy.  
Adult Secondary Policy
The patient is listed as a dependent on a second full benefit policy.  
Advanced directive
Written documentation that specifies medical treatment for a competent patient should the patient become unable to make decisions; also called a living will or health care directive.
Advanced EMT (AEMT)
An individual who has training in specific aspects of advanced life support, such as intravenous therapy, and the administration of certain emergency medications.
Advanced Life Support (ALS)
Advanced lifesaving procedures, some of which are now being provided by the EMT; care provided to patients with use of drugs, advanced invasive airway procedures using cardiac monitor defibrillators, and advanced knowledge and judgment; these skills are generally reserved for pre-hospital care providers trained above the EMT level.
Adventitious breath sounds
Abnormal breath sounds such as wheezes, rhonchi, and rales.
Adverse Effect
A pathological reaction following the ingestion of or exposure to drugs or other chemical substances. These effects may result from cumulative effects of a drug/ substance, the patient's hypersensitivity to the substance, unexpected side effcts, or an interaction between two or more prescribed drugs.  
Advil (Rx)
Brand name; Advil or Motrin. Generic name; Ibuprofen. Classified as a Nonsteroidal Anti-inflammatory Drug (NSAID). It reduces fever, is an anti-inflammatory, and an analgesic used for treatment of whiplash, transmandibular joint dysfunction (TMJD), sprains and strains, scoliosis, sciatica, plantar fasciitis, osteoarthritis, neuropathy, muscle spasm, multiple sclerosis, hyperkyphosis, migraine headache, fibromyalgia, delayed-onset muscle soreness, carpal tunnel syndrome, and bursitis. It works by reducing hormones that cause inflammation and pain in the body. Clients who take Advil or Motrin may experience upset stomach, ringing in the ears, or headache. It is best to use deep massage with caution and be aware of decreased pain perception.
AE-AH
 
Aero-
Air; Aerobic Respiration= Metabolism requiring oxygen.  
Aer/o
Air  
Aerobic
Requiring oxygen to live or grow.
Aerobic metabolism
Metabolism that can proceed only in the presence of oxygen.
Aerobic respiration
Respiration in which oxygen is consumed and glucose is broken down entirely; water, carbon dioxide, and large amounts of ATP are the final products.
Af-
Toward; Afferent Neurons= Carry impulses towards the CNS.  
AFDC
Aid to Families with Dependent Children  
Afferent
Toward a center or point of reference
Afferent nerves
Sensory nerves that link sensory receptors with the central nervous system (CNS) and transmit sensory information
Afferent neurons
Nerve cells that carry impulses toward the central nervous system (CNS)
Afterload
The force or resistance against which the heart pumps.
Agglutin/o
Clumping; Sticking together  
Agglutination
Clumping of (foreign) cells, induced by cross-linking of antigen-antibody complexes.
Agglutinins
Antibodies in blood plasma that cause clumping of corpuscles or bacteria.
Agglutinogens
Antigens that stimulate the formation of a specific agglutinin; Antigens found on red blood cels that are responsible for determining the ABO blood group classification.
Aggressive language
Communicates undertones of anger through the words, the voice tone, or both.  
Aging
The process by which the temporary bond between the organophosphate and acetycholinesterase undergoes hydrolysis, resulting in a permanent covalent bond.
Agitated delirium
A condition of disorientation, confusion, and possible hallucinations coupled with purposeless, restless physical activity.
~agogue
Producer, leader  
~agon
To assemble; Gather  
Agon-
Contest; Agonist= Prime mover muscle.  
Agonal gasps
Slow, shallow, irregular breaths or occasional gasping breaths; sometimes seen in dying patients.
Agonist
A muscle that bears the primary responsibility for causing or controling a certain movement or joint motion through a specified plane of motion; also known as the primary or prime mover; a medication that causes stimulation of receptors.
Agora-
Marketplace  
~agra
Excessive pain  
AHA
American Hospital Association  
AHIMA
American Health Information Management Association in Chicago IL.  
AI-AK
 
Aid to Families with Dependent Children (AFDC)
A welfare program covering pregnant women and young children who are members of households where income falls below the poverty level.  
AIDS
Acquired Immuno Deficiency Syndrome; caused by Human Immunodeficiency Virus (HIV); symptoms include severe weight loss, night sweats, swollen lymph nodes, and opportunistic infections
Ailment-
Nourish; Ailmentary Canal= Digestive tract.  
Air ambulances
Fixed-wing aircraft and helicopters that have been modified for medical care; used to evacuate and transport patients with life-threatening injuries to treatment facilities.
Air embolism
The presence of air in the veins, which can lead to cardiac arrest if it enters the heart.
Airborne transmission
The spread of an organism in aerosol form.
Airway
The upper airway tract or passage above the larynx, which includes the nose, mouth, and throat.
Airway adjuncts
Devices such as oropharyngeal and nasopharyngeal airways that are designed to prevent airway obstruction by the tongue.
AL
 
A La Carte Billing
The breaking down of an integrated major surgical package into various components for the purpose of differential coding and obtaining a higher reimbursement.  
~al
Pertaining to  
Alb-
White; Corpus Albicans= White scar tissue on an overy.  
Alb/o
White  
Albin/o
White  
Albumin/o
Albumin (protein)  
Albumin
A protein found in virtually all animals; the most abundant plasma protein.
Albuminuria
Presence of albumin in the urine.
Aleve (Rx)
Brand name; Aleve, Anaprox, Naprelan, and Naprosyn. Generic name; Naproxen. Classified as a Nonsteroidal Anti-inflammatory Drug (NSAID). It is an Anti-inflammatory, analgesic, fever reducer used for treatment of whiplash, tendinosis, bursitis, neuropathy, ankylosing spondylosis, osteoarthritis, migraine headache, carpal tunnel syndrome, fibromyalgia, and delayed-onset muscle soreness. It works by reducing hormones that cause inflammation and pain. Clients who take Aleve, Anaprox, Naprelan, or Naprosyn may experience headache, ringing in the ears, and upset stomach. It is best to use deep massage with caution and be aware of decreased pain perception.
Alexander technique
A re-education of the mind and body that intends to change movement habits in everyday activities. It aims to release tension and improve ease and freedom of movement, balance, support, and coordination. Developed by F.M. Alexander.  
Alges/o
Sensitivity to pain  
~algesia
Sensitivity to pain  
~algia
Pain  
Alimentary
Pertaining to the digestive organs.
Alimentary canal
The tube-shaped portion of the digestive system known as the gastrointestinal tract; the alimentary canal is about 30 feet long and contains several special structures throughout its length.
Alkalosis
A condition in which the blood has a lower hydrogen ion concentration than normal, and an increased pH; the buildup of excess base (lack of acids) in the body fluids.
All/o
Other  
Allegra (Rx)
Brand name; Allegra. Generic name; Fexofenadine hydrochloride. Classified as an Antihistamine. It relieves seasonal allergy symptoms, used for treatment of seasonal allergies. It works by reducing the effects of histamine, a natural chemical that the body releases to tackle allergens by producing sneezing, watery eyes, and runny nose. Clients who take Allegra may experience fatigue or drowsiness. It is best to not position prone, and help client on/off table if needed.
Allel-
Of one another; Alleles= Alternative expression of a gene.  
Allergen
A substance that causes an allergic reaction.
Allergic reaction
The body's exaggerated immune response to an internal or surface agent.
Allergic rhinitis
An allergic response usually to outdoor airborne allergens such as pollen or sometimes indoor allergens such as dust mites or pet dander; also called hay fever.
Allergy
Overzealous immune response to an otherwise harmless antigen; also called hypersensitivity.
All-or-none response
The property of a muscle fiber (cell) contraction by which, when contraction is initiated, the fiber contracts to its full ability or does not contract at all.
Allowed Charge or Fee
The maximum amount, according to the individual policy, that insurance will pay for each procedure or service performed.  
Alopecia
Hair loss condition or baldness on parts or all of the body
Alpha
A type of energy that is emitted from a strong radiologic source; it is the least harmful penetrating type of radiation and connot travel fast or through most objects.
Alpha-adrenergic receptors
Portions of the nervous system that, when stimulated, can cause constriction of blood vessels.
Altered mental status
A change in the way a person thinks and behaves that may signal disease in the central nervous system (CNS) or elsewhere in the body.
Altered state
A state of consciousness in which we are more deeply relaxed, less aware of our thinking minds, and more open and vulnerable than we are in our day-to-day functioning.  
Alveol/o
Alveolus; Air sac; Small sac  
Alveolar ventilation
The volume of air that reaches the alveoli; it is determined by subtracting the amount of dead space air from the tidal volume.
Alveoli
The air sacs of the lungs in which the exchange of oxygen and carbon dioxide takes place.
Alveolus
A general term referring to a small cavity or depression; an air sac in the lungs.
AM
 
AMA
American Medical Association  
Ambi-
Around, on both sides, about  
Ambien (Rx)
Brand name; Ambien. Generic name; Zolpidem tartrate. Classified as a Sedative hypnotic and is used for sedation for insomnia. It initiates sleep quickly (within 15 minutes) and has a short half-life of 2-3 hours. It is not meant to maintain sleep unless delivered in Ambien CR (Controlled-Release) form. Is meant for a short-term treatment of insomnia. Clients who take Ambien may have abdominal pain, dry mouth, nausea, or vomiting. It is best to use deep tissue treatment work with caution, and ask about positioning during treatment.
Ambient temperature
The temperature of the surrounding environment.
Ambiguity
When a communication is not clear, the message received by the listener can be very different from the message the speaker intended to send.  
Ambly/o
Dim; Dul  
Ambulance
A specialized vehicle for treating and transporting sick and injured patients.  
Ambulatory Patient Group (APG)
The prospective payments of outpatient claims based on the reason for the encounter with the patient.  
Ambulatory Surgical Center (ASC)
An independent surgical facility certified and accredited by state health departments for the purpose of performing surgery on patients who are expected to be discharged the same day surgery is performed. ASCs performing surgery on Medicare patients must also be accredited with Health Care Financing Administration or HCFA.  
American Academy of Procedural Coders (AAPC)
A Salt Lake City- based organization established in 1988 to ensure professional standards for procedural coders and to increase recognition within the health care industry of the coders and the professional services they perform.  
American Hospital Association (AHA)
Professional organization promoting the ideal and functions of acute care hospitals in the United States.  
American Medical Association (AMA)
The largest United States professional association of physicians, and publisher of Physician's Current Terminology, 4th Edition, (CPT-4).  
American standard system
A safety system for large oxygen cylinders, deigned to prevent the accidental attachment of a regulator to a cylinder containing the wrong type of gas.
Amaricans with Disabilities Act (ADA)
Comprehensive legislation that is designed to protect individuals with disabilities against discrimination.
~amine
Nitrogen compound  
Amino acid
An organic compound containing nitrogen, carbon, hydrogen, and oxygen; the building block of protein.
Amitriptyline hydrochloride (Rx)
Brand name; Apo-Ami Triptyline or Endep. Generic name; Amitriptyline hydrochloride. Classified as a Tricyclic antidepressant. It relieves depression and is used in the treatment of stress, fibromyalgia, chronic fatigue syndrome, and neuropathy. It works by affecting the balance of neurotransmitters such as serotonin (natural occurring substance) in the brain. Clients who take Apo-Ami Triptyline or Endep may experience drowsiness, dry mouth, or constipation. It is best to help the client on/off table, abdominal massage may help relieve constipation, and make sure the client is alert before driving home.
Amma
A specialized form of skilled (somatic) touch therapy that combines deep tissue bodywork with the application of pressure, friction and touch to specific acupoints, superficial primary and tendino- muscle energy channels, muscles, ligaments and joints. The techniques are aimed to remove blockages and free the flow of Qi (energy) in the body.  
AMMA Therapy®
A highly-refined and complex system of bodywork therapy utilizing techniques and treatment strategies combining the use of traditional Chinese medical principles for assessing and evaluating general imbalances in the energetic system and a Western approach to organ dysfunctions. The treatment includes the use of dietary therapy, herbs, nutritional supplements and the external application of herbal preparations.  
Ammon/o
Ammonium  
Amni/o
Amnion (sac surrounding the embryo)  
Amnion
The fetal membrane that forms a fluid-filled sac around the embryo
Amniotic sac
The fluid-filled, baglike membrane in which the fetus develops.
Amphi-
On both sides; Of both kinds; Amphiarthroses= slightly movable joints.  
Amphiarthrosis
A slightly movable joint that connects bone to bone with fibrocartilage or hyaline growth cartilage. The two types in the human body are symphyses and synchondroses
Amputation
An injury in which part of the body is completely severed.
Amyl/o
Startch  
Amyotrophic lateral sclerosis (ALS)
A progressive disease that begins in the central nervous system (CNS) and involves the degeneration of motor neurons and the subsequent atrophy of voluntary muscle. Also called Lou Gehrig's disease.
AN
 
~an
Pertaining to  
Ana-
Apart; Up; Again; Anaphase= Seperating chromosomes in mitosis  
An/o
Anus  
Anabolism
Chemical process in the body that join simple compounds to form more complex compounds of carbohydrates, liquids, protins, and nucleic acids. The processes require energy supplied from adenosine triphosphate; the energy-requiring building phase of metabolism.
Anacin (Rx)
Brand names; Anacin, Feverall, Panadol, and Tylenol. Generic name; Acetaminophen. Classified as a Nonopioid pain reliever. It reduces fever and is a mild analgesic used in the treatment of Degenerative Disc Disease (DDD), frozen shoulder, migraine headache, tension headache, fibromyalgia, rheumatoid arthritis, sprains and strains, tendinosis, and transmandibular joint dysfunction (TMJD). It works by elevating the body's overall pain threshold so you feel less pain. It also eliminates excess heat for fever reducing. Clients who take Anacin, Feverall, Panadol, and Tylenol may experience liver damage from prolonged use. It is best to use deep massage with caution and be aware of decreased pain perception.
Anaerobic
Not requiring oxygen.
Anaerobic metabolism
The metabolism that takes place in the absence of oxygen; the principle product is lactic acid.
Anaphylaxis (anaphylactic shock)
Exaggerated, life-threatening hypersensitivity reaction to a previously encountered antigen; caused by the release of histamine from the cells; an extreme, life-threatening systemic allergic reaction that may include shock and respiratory failure.
Anaplasia
Meaning without shape, the term describes abnormal or undifferentiated cells that fail to mature into specialized cell types. Anaplasia is a characteristic of malignant cells.
Anaprox (Rx)
Brand name; Aleve, Anaprox, Naprelan, and Naprosyn. Generic name; Naproxen. Classified as a Nonsteroidal Anti-inflammatory Drug (NSAID). It is an Anti-inflammatory, analgesic, fever reducer used for treatment of whiplash, tendinosis, bursitis, neuropathy, ankylosing spondylosis, osteoarthritis, migraine headache, carpal tunnel syndrome, fibromyalgia, and delayed-onset muscle soreness. It works by reducing hormones that cause inflammation and pain. Clients who take Aleve, Anaprox, Naprelan, or Naprosyn may experience headache, ringing in the ears, and upset stomach. It is best to use deep massage with caution and be aware of decreased pain perception.
Anastomos-
Come together; Arteriovenous anastomosis= Artery and vein connections.  
Anatomical Position
Erect posture with face forward, arms at sides, forearms supinated (palms face forward) and fingers and thmbs in extension.
Anatomic position
A standard position in which the person stands upright with feet slightly apart, arms hanging at sides, palms facing forward with thumbs outward; the position of reference in which the patient stands facing you, arms at the side, with palms of the hands forward.
Anatomic range of motion (ROM)
The amount of motion available to a joint based on the structure of the joint and determined by the shape of the joint surfaces, joint capsule, ligaments, muscle bulk, and surrounding musculotendinous and bony structures.
Anatomy
The science of the structures of the body or a living organism and the relationship of its parts.
Andr/o
Male  
Androgens
Male sex hormones.
Anemia
Reduced oxygen-carrying capacity of the blood caused by a decreased number of erythrocytes or decreased percentage of hemoglobin in the blood; A decrease in the normal number of red blood cells or in the amount of hemoglobin or iron in the blood.
Aneurysm-
A widening; Aortic Aneurism= Week spots in blood vessels that enlarge.  
Aneurysm/o
Aneurysm (widening of blood vessel)  
Aneurysm
A blood-filled sac in an artery wall caused by dilation or weakening of the wall; a permanent dilation of a blood vessel caused by weakness or damage to its structure. The most common sites of aneurysms are the aorta and the arteries of the brain; a swelling or enlargement of part of a blood vessel, resulting from weakening of the vessel wall.
Angi-
Vessel; Angiitis= Lymph or blood vessel inflammation.  
Angi/o
Vessel (blood)  
Angin-
Choked; Angina Pedctoris= Chest pain or discomfort, heart decreases in oxygen-rich blood, feels like squeezing or choking.  
Angina Pectoris
Severe, suffocating chest pain caused by brief lack of oxygen supply to heart muscles; Chest pain or pressure frequently brought on by exercise and relieved by rest; caused by ischemia in the heart and often treated with nitroglycerin; transient (short-lived) chest discomfort caused by partial or temporary blockage of blood flow to the heart muscle.
Anis/o
Unequal  
Anisocoria
Naturally occurring uneven pupil size.
Ankyl/o
Stiff  
Anorexia
Loss of appetite or desire for food
Anoxia
A deficiency of oxygen
Anthr/o
Antrum of stomach  
Ant-, Anti-
Opposed to; Against; Preventing; Inhibiting; Antagonist= Muscle that opposes the agonist or prime mover; Antibody= Plasma cell protein released to bind with an antigen immune or protecting system.  
Antagonist
A muscle that acts in opposition to an agonist, it is usually located on the opposite side of a joint from the agonist and the agonist performs the prime movement, both the antagonist and agonist can be assisted by synergistic muscles; a medication that binds to a receptor and blocks other medications.
Ante-
Before; Forward  
Antecubital
The anterior surface of the elbow.
Anter/o
Front  
Anterior
The front of an organism, organ, or part; the ventral surface; the front surface of the body; the side facing you in the standard anatomic position.
Anterior pelvis rotation
Anterior movement of the upper pelvis; the iliac crest tilts forward in a saggittal plane
Anterior tilt of pelvis
Tilt in which the vertical plane through the anterior superior iliac spines (ASIS's) are anterior to the vertical plane through the symphysis pubis
Anterograde (posttraumatic) amnesia
Inability to remember events after an injury.
Anthr/o
Antrum of the stomach  
Anthrac/o
Coal  
Anthrax
A disease caused by deadly bacteria (Bacillus anthracis) that lay dormant in a spore (protective shell); the germ is released from the spore when exposed to the optimal temperature and moisture. The routes of entry are inhalation, cutaneous, and gastrointestinal (from consuming food that contains spores).
Anti-
Against  
Antibody
A specialized substance produced by the body that can provide immunity against specific antigens; A specific protein produced by leucocytes to destroy or suppress antigens
Antidote
A substance that is used to neutralize or counteract a poison.
Antigen
Any substance- including toxins, foreign proteins, or bacteria- that when introduced to the body, is recognized as foreign, thus activating the immune response system, causeing the leucocytes in the body to produce antibodies
Antivenin
A serum that counteracts the effect of venom from an animal or insect.
Anus
The distal end of the digestive tract; the outlet of the rectum
Anxi/o
Uneasy; Anxious  
Anxious-avoidant attachment
A bond between an infant and his or parent or caregiver in which the infant is repeatedly rejected and develops an isolated lifestyle that does not depend on the support and care of others.
AO-AQ
Aort/o
Aorta (largest artery)  
Aorta
The major systemic artery that arises from the left ventricle of the heart; the large artery that carries oxygen and nutrients out of the heart; the main artery that receives blood from the left ventricle and delivers it to all the other arteries that carry blood to the tissues of the body.
Aortic aneurysm
A weakness in the wall of the aorta that makes it susceptible to rupture.
Aortic body
A receptor in the aortic arch sensitive to changing oxygen, carbon dioxide, and pH levels of the blood
Aortic valve
The one-way valve that lies between the left ventricle and the aorta and keeps blood from flowing back into the left ventricle after the left ventricle ejects its blood into the aorta: one of four heart valves.
APG
Ambulatory Payment Group  
Apex (plural apices)
The pointed extremity of a conical structure.
Apgar score
A scoring system for assessing the status of a newborn that assigns a number value to each of five areas of assessment.
Aphasia
The inability to understand and/or produce speech.
~apheresis
Removal  
Aphth/o
Ulcer  
Apical surface
The surface of epithelial cells that is exposed to the external surface such as the atmostphere or a passage in the body
Aplastic crisis
A condition in which the body stops producing red blood cells; typically caused by infection.
Apnea
Absence of spontaneous breathing.
Apneustic center
Portion of the pons that increases the length of inspiration and decreases the respiratory rate.
Apo-
Off; Away  
Apo-Ami Triptyline (Rx)
Brand name; Apo-Ami Triptyline or Endep. Generic name; Amitriptyline hydrochloride. Classified as a Tricyclic antidepressant. It relieves depression and is used in the treatment of stress, fibromyalgia, chronic fatigue syndrome, and neuropathy. It works by affecting the balance of neurotransmitters such as serotonin (natural occurring substance) in the brain. Clients who take Apo-Ami Triptyline or Endep may experience drowsiness, dry mouth, or constipation. It is best to help the client on/off table, abdominal massage may help relieve constipation, and make sure the client is alert before driving home.
Apocrine
A type of sweat gland that discharges a thicker and more odoriferous form of sweat
Apocrine gland
The less numerous type of sweat glands that produce a secretion containg water, salts, and protein and are found along areas of the body with denser (closely compacted) hair growth
Apokyn (Rx)
Brand name; Apokyn. Generic name; Apomorphine hydrochloride. Classified as a Non-ergoline dopamine agonist. It reduces symptoms of Parkinson's disease used in the treatment of Parkinson's disease. It works by helping to restore the balance of dopamine (natural occurring substance) in the brain. Clients who take Apokyn may experience drowsiness, yawning, flushing, nausea, or vomiting. It is best to help the client on/off table, use deep tissue techniques with caution, and make sure the client is alert before driving home.
Apomorphine hydrochloride (Rx)
Brand name; Apokyn. Generic name; Apomorphine hydrochloride. Classified as a Non-ergoline dopamine agonist. It reduces symptoms of Parkinson's disease used in the treatment of Parkinson's disease. It works by helping to restore the balance of dopamine (natural occurring substance) in the brain. Clients who take Apokyn may experience drowsiness, yawning, flushing, nausea, or vomiting. It is best to help the client on/off table, use deep tissue techniques with caution, and make sure the client is alert before driving home.
Aponeur/o
Aponeurosis (type of tendon)  
Aponeurosis
Fibrous or membranous sheet connecting a muscle and the part it move; A broad, flat sheet of fibrous connective tissue
Apparent life-threatening event (ALTE)
An event that causes unresponsiveness, cyanosis, and apnea in an infant, who then resumes breathing with stimulation.
Append/o
Appendix  
Appendage
A structure attached to the body such as the upper and lower extremities.
Appendic/o
Appendix  
Appendicitis
Inflammation of the appendix.  
Appendicular skeleton
The part of the skeleton composed of the limbs and their attchments, bones of the limbs and limb girdles that are attached to the axial skeleton; the portion of the skeletal system that comprises the arms, legs, pelvis, and shoulder girdle.  
Appendix
A wormlike extension of the large intestine; a small tubular structure that is attached to the lower border of the cecum in the lower right quadrant of the abdomen.  
Applied ethics
The manner in which principles of ethics are incorporated into professional conduct.  
Apprenticeship
A system of training practitioners in a structured competency-based set of skills that combines on-the-job training with academic instruction. Apprenticeships often last many years.  
Aque/o
Water  
Aqueous humor
The watery fluid in the anterior chambers of the eye  
AR
 
~ar
Pertaining to  
Arachn/o
Spider  
Arachnoid
Weblike; specifically, the weblike middle layer of the three meninges  
Arbitration
This is an alternative form of dispute resolution that takes place out of court. All parties in the dispute select an impartial third party (arbitrator), agree in advance to comply with the arbitrator's award, and participate in a hearing where evidence and testimonies are presented. The arbitrator's decision is usually final, and courts rarely reexamine it.  
~arche
Beginning  
Areola
The circular, pigmented area surrounding the nipple  
Arm
The portion of the upper limb between the shoulder and elbow joints  
Armed Forces
The Army, Navy, Coast Guard, Air Force, and Marines.  
Arousal
A physiological and psychological state of being awake, reactive to stimuli, or ready for activity. It involves the brain stem, the autonomic nervous system, and the endocrine system.  
Arrector pili
Tiny, smooth muscles attached to hair follicles, which cause the hair to stand upright when activated  
Arrhythmia
An irregular or abnormal heart rhythm.  
Arsenic/o
Arsenic  
Arter/o
Artery  
Arteri/o
Artery  
Arterial air embolism
Air bubbles in the arterial blood vessels.  
Arteriol/o
Arteriole (small artery)  
Arterioles
The smallest arteries, minute artery; the smallest branches of arteries leading to the vast network of capillaries. Direction of blood flow: heart, artery, arteriole, capillary, venule, vein, and back to the heart; under the control of the sympathetic nervous system (SNS), constrict and dialate to regulate blood flow and pressure.  
Arteriosclerosis
A term meaning hardening of the arteries and referring to arteries that have become brittle and have lost their elasticity; any of a number of proliferative and degenerative changes in the arteries leading to their decreased elasticity.  
Artery
A blood vessel that transports oxygenated blood from the heart to the body or deoxygenated blood from the heart to the lungs; a vessel that carries blood away from the heart; a blood vessel, consisting of three layers of tissue (elastic tissue, smooth muscle, connective tissue or collagen) and smooth muscle that carries blood away from the heart.  
Arthr/o
Joint  
~arthria
Articulate (speak distinctly)  
Arthritis
The most common type of joint disorder, arthritis literally means inflammation of the joints.  
Arthrokinematics
Movement of bone surface in the joint capsule including roll, spin and slide.  
Arthrology
The study of joints.  
Articul/o
Joint  
Articular cartilage
A pearly layer of specialized cartilage covering the articular surfface (contact surfaces on the ends) of bones in synovial joints.  
Articulation
Another word for joint, the structure created when bones connect to each other; point where two bones meet.  
Articular facet
A small articular surface of a bone, especially a vertebra.  
Articular process
A small flat projection found on the surface of the arches of the vertebrae on either side incorporating the articular surface.  
Articulation
A joint or connection of bones.  
~artresia
Closure, Occlusion  
Atreto-
Closed, Lacking an opening  
~ary
Pertaining to  
AS
 
Asbest/o
Asbestos  
ASC
Ambulatory Surgical Center  
Ascending tracts
Tracts that carry sensory information to the brain.  
Ascites
Fluid in the abdomen.  
~ase
Enzyme  
Aspir/o
Removal  
Aspiration
In the context of airway, the introduction of vomitus or other foreign material into the lungs.  
Aspirin (Rx)
Brand name; Astrin, Empirin, or Ecotrin. Generic name; Aspirin. Classified as a Salicylate and a nonsteroidal anti-inflammatory drug (NSAID). It is an analgesic, anti-inflammatory, antithrombotic and fever reducer and is used in the treatment of stroke, rheumatoid arthritis, ankylosing spondylosis, or tension headaches. It works by reducing substances in the body (prostaglandins) that cause pain, fever, and inflammation. Clients who take Astrin, Empirin, and Ecotrin may experience upset stomach and increased bruising. It is best to use caution with deep massage techniques and be aware of the client's decreased pain perception.
Aspirin (acetylsalicylic acid or ASA)
A medication that is an antipyretic (reduces fever), analgesic (reduces pain), anti-inflammatory (reduces inflammation), and potent inhibitor of platelet aggregation (clumping).  
Assault
Unlawfully placing a patient in fear of bodily harm.  
~assay
To examine; Analyze  
Assertion sequence
A communication process designed to minimise misunderstandings in boundary discussions and to help in the skillful responses to any challenges. It consists of four stages of increasingly forceful conversations.  
Assertive language
Communicates clearly, with minimal emotional content. The voice tone is neutral - not a monotone, but a natural intonation free from hostility, whining, hesitation, and anything else that might potentially distract or upset the person who's listening.  
Assessment
A systematic method or approach to gathering information about a client's condition and symptoms.  
Assignment of Insurance Benefits
An authorization granted by the patient to allow the insurance company to pay claim benefits directly to the provider of care. It is to the provider's benefit to have the patient sign the "assignment of benefits" statement on each claim form. All benefits due to the provider will be mailed directly to the provider rather than to the patient.  
~asthenia
Lack of strength  
Asthma
Respiratory disorder characterized by recurring episodes of sudden onset of breathing difficulty, wheezing on expiration and inspiration as a result of constriction of the bronchi, coughing, and thick mucous bronchial secretions; also known as reactive airway disease; disease or allergic response characterized by bronchial spasms and difficult breathing; an acute spasm of the smaller air passages, called bronchioles, associated with excessive mucus production and with swelling of the mucous lining of the respiratory passage.  
Astigmatism
A visual defect resulting from irregularity in the lens or cornea of the eye causing the image to be out of focus  
Astr/o
Star, Star-shaped: Astroblastoma, Astrocytoma  
Astrin (Rx)
Brand name; Astrin, Empirin, or Ecotrin. Generic name; Aspirin. Classified as a Salicylate and a nonsteroidal anti-inflammatory drug (NSAID). It is an analgesic, anti-inflammatory, antithrombotic and fever reducer and is used in the treatment of stroke, rheumatoid arthritis, ankylosing spondylosis, or tension headaches. It works by reducing substances in the body (prostaglandins) that cause pain, fever, and inflammation. Clients who take Astrin, Empirin, and Ecotrin may experience upset stomach and increased bruising. It is best to use caution with deep massage techniques and be aware of the client's decreased pain perception.
Asystole
The complete absence of any electrical cardiac activity, appearing as a straight or almost straight line on an ECG strip.  
AT-AZ
 
Atarax (Rx)
Brand name; Atarax. Generic name; Hydroxyzine embonate. Classified as an Antihistamine, sedative, and antispasmodic. It promotes calmness and reduces nausea or vomiting. It is used for the treatment of stress and allergies. It works by blocking histamine. Clients who take Atarax may experience drowsiness or dry mouth. It is best to use deep tissue techniques with caution, and offer water.
Ataxic respirations
Irregular, ineffective respirations that may or may not have an identifiable pattern.  
Atel/o
Incomplete  
Atelectasis
Collapse of the alveolar air spaces of the lungs.  
Ather/o
Plaque (fatty substance)  
Atherosclerosis
A condition in which fatty plaque is deposited in medium and large arteries; changes in the walls of the large arteries consisting of lipid deposits on the artery walls. The early stage of arteriosclerosis and increased rigidity; a disorder in which cholesterol and calcium build up inside the walls of the blood vessels, forming plaque, which eventually leads to partial or complete blockage of blood flow.  
~ation
Process; Condition  
Ativan (Rx)
Brand name; Ativan. Generic name; Lorazepam. Classified as a Benzodiazepine anxiolytic, sedative, and hypnotic. It relieves anxiety, promotes calmness, and sleep. it is used for treatment of stress. It works by enhancing the effects of GABA (Gamma-Aminobutyric Acid) a natural chemical made in the brain that blocks brain signals (neurotransmissions). Clients who take Ativan may experience restlessness, drowsiness, and dry mouth. It is best to use deep tissue massage techniques with caution. Offer a calming environment and water.
Atlas
First cervical vertebra, articulating with the occipital bone and rotating around the odontoid process of the axis  
Atmo-
Stream; Vapor  
Atom
The smallest particle of an element that retains and exhibits the proper4ties of that element. Atoms are made up of protiens, neutrons and electrons; indivisible by ordinary chemical means  
Atomic mass number
The sum of the number of protons and neutrons in the nucleus of an atom  
Atomic number
The number of protons in an atom  
Atomic symbol
A one- or two-letter symbol indicating a particular element  
Atomic weight
Average of the mass numbers of all of the isotopes of an element  
Atreto-
Closed, Lacking an opening  
Atri/o
Atrium (upper heart chamber)  
Atrioventricular node
AV node; A specialized mass of conducting cells located at the atrioventricular junction in the heart.  
Atrium
One of the two (right and left) small, thin-walled, upper chambers of the heart; the right and left are seperated by a thin interatrial septum; a chamber of the heart receiving blood from the veins; superior heart chamber; the right atrium receives blood from the vena cava and delivers it to the right ventricle, the left atrium receives blood from pulmonary veins and delivers it to the left ventricle.  
Atrophy
A decrease in the size of a body part or organ caused by a decrease in the size of cells; a reduction in size or wasting away of an organ or cell resulting from disease or lack of use.  
Attachments
Connections of skeletal muscles to bones; often referred to as the origin and insertion.  
Attending Physician
The physician in charge of the patient's care; this physician may or may not be the physician who admitted the patient to the hospital.  
Attitude
A feeling, disposition, or expression of a positive or negative evaluation of people, objects, event, activities, or ideas.  
Audi/o
Hearing  
Audit/o
Hearing  
Auditory
Pertaining to the sense of hearing.  
Auditory ossicles
Three tiny bones, the malleu, incus, and stapes, located within the middle ear that serve as transmitters of sound vibrations.  
Aur/o
Ear  
Aura
A sensation experienced prior to a seizure; serves as a warning sign that a seizure is about to occur.  
Auricul/o
Ear  
Auscult/o
To listen  
Auscultate
To listen to sounds within an organ with a stethoscope.  
Auscultation
The act of examination by listening to body sounds.  
Aut-, Auto-
Self; Own  
Aut/o
Self; Own  
Authorization to Release Medical Information
Written permission given by the patient (or their representative) authorizing the provider of care to release treatment and diagnostic information to a specified party.  
Autoimmune response
The production of antibodies or effector T cells that attack a person's own tissue.  
Automated External Defibrillator (AED)
A device that detects treatable life-threatening cardiac arrhythmias (ventricular fibrillation and ventricular tachycardia) and delivers the appropriate electrical shock to the patient; device used in cardiac arrest to perform a computer analysis of the patient's cardiac rhythm and deliver defibrillatory shocks when indicated.  
Automatic transport ventilator (ATV)
A ventilation device attached to a control box that allows the variables of ventilation to be set, it frees the EMT to perform other tasks while the patient is being ventilated.  
Automaticity
The ability of a structure, organ, or system to initiate its own activity; the ability of cardiac muscle cells to contract without stimulation from the nervous system.  
Autonomic
Self-directed, self-regulating; independent.  
Autonomic nervous system (ANS)
A division of the peripheral nervous system (PNS) composed of nerves that connect the central nervous system (CNS) to the glands, heart, and smooth muscles to maintain the internal body environment; The division of the nervous system that functions involuntarily; innervates cardiac muscle, smooth muscle, and glands; the part of the nervous system that regulates involuntary functions, such as heart rate, blood pressure, digestion, and sweating.  
Autonomy
The ability to make one's own decisions.  
Aux/o
Growth, Acceleration  
Avonex (Rx)
Brand name; Rebif or Avonex. Generic name; Interferon Beta-1A, recombinant. Classified as an Antiviral, Antiproliferative, and immunomodulator. It reduces symptoms of Multiple Sclerosis and is used for the treatment of Multiple Sclerosis (MS). It works by using the protein Interferon (not a cure) to help decrease balance problems, weakness, numbness, and slow the disease. Clients who take Avonex or Rebif may experience liver problems, depression, and flu-like symptoms. It is best to never perform deep treatment work, use caution around injection site, and never massage the day of, or day after injection.
AVPU
Acronym for Alert, Verbal, Painful, and Unresponsive; used to describe patient's responsiveness.  
AVPU scale
A method of assessing the level of consciousness by determining whether the patient is awake and alert, responsive to verbal stimuli or pain, or unresponsive; used principally early in the assessment process.  
Avulsion
Injury to a ligament or tendon involving tearing off of its attachment; an injury in which soft tissue is torn completely loose or is hanging as a flap.  
Axial skeleton
The axis of the body; the axial skeleton consists of the head, vertebral column (spine), and the ribs and sternum and provides the body with form and protection; The bones of the skull, vertebral column, thorax, and sternum.  
Axi/o
Axis  
Axill/o
Armpit  
Axilla
Armpit.  
Axis
The second cervical vertebra. It has a vertical projection called the dens around which the atlas rotates; The imaginary straight line around which a joint or structure revolves/rotates. Movement at the joint take place in a plane about an axis. There are three axis of rotation; Sagital axis, Frontal axis, and vertical axis.
Axon
A single elongated projection from the nerve cell body that transmits impulses away from the cell body; Neuron process that carries impulses away from the nerve cell body; efferent process; the conducting portion of the nerve cell.  
Azot/o
Urea; Nitrogen  
Azulfidine (Rx)
Brand name; Azulfidine. Generic name; Sulfasalazine. Classified as an Anti-inflammatory. It relieves gastrointestinal tract inflammation and is used for treatment of Rheumatoid arthritis. It works to reduce irritation and swelling in the large intestine. Clients who take Azulfidine may experience depression, headache, abdominal pain, nausea, and vomiting. It is best to use deep tissue techniques with caution, and alter position when needed.

 

     

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