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Massage Therapy Terminology & Glossary




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The lower portion of the back, just superior to the buttocks.
Sacroiliac joint
The connection point between the pelvis and the vertebral column.
One of three bones (sacrum and two pelvic bones) that make up the pelvic ring; consists of five fused sacral vertebrae.
Saddle joint
Joint that is convex in one plane and concave in the other with the surfaces fitting together like a rider on a saddle.
Safe zone
An area of protection providing safety from the danger zone (hot zone).
Safety officer
In incident command, the person who gives the "go ahead" to a plan or who may stop an operation when rescuer safety is an issue.
Sagittal axis
The sagittal axis passes horizontally from front (anterior) to back (posterior), and is formed by the intersection of the sagittal and transverse planes.
Sagittal (lateral) plane
A plane that divides the body into left and right portions; an imaginary line where the body is cut into left and right parts. The descriptive terms lateral and medial correlate to the sagittal plane about which movements of flexion and extension take place. The Midsagittal plane is the midline that runs down the exact center of the body, dividing the sagittal plane in two symmetrical halves.
Sagittal section (plane)
A longitudinal (vertical) plane that divides the body or any of its parts into right and left portions.
Saline locks (buff caps)
Special types of intravenous apparatus, also called heparin caps and heparin locks.
The secretion of salivary glands which is ducted into the mouth.
Salicary glands
The glands that produce saliva to keep the mouth and pharynx moist.
Fallopian tube; auditory or eustachian tube  
Fallopian tube; oviduct  
Ionic compound that dissociates into charged particles (other than hydrogen or hydroxyl ions) when dissolved in water.
SAMPLE History
Mnemonic to help EMTs assess a brief history of a patient's condition to determine signs and symptoms, allergies, medications, pertinent past history, last oral intake, and events leading to the injury or illness; S-signs and symptoms, A-allergies, M-medications, P-past pertinent medical history, L-last oral intake, E-event.
Rotten; decay  
Flesh or connective tissue  
The smallest contractile unit of muscle; extends from one Z disc to the next.
Sarin (GB)
A nerve agent that is one of the G agents; a highly volatile colorless and odorless liquid that turns into gas within seconds to minutes at room temperature.
A System for Analyzing Verbal Interaction developed by Anita Simon and Yvonne Agazarian. The distinctive features of the SAVI approach are; A focus on behavior; Attention to both words and tone; A nonjudgmental approach; A pragmatic analysis; and Practical strategies.
Scald burn
A burn caused by hot liquids.
The thick skin covering the cranium, which usually bears hair.
A radio receiver that searches or "scans" across several frequencies until the message is completed; the process is then repeated.
Scapula; shoulder blade  
The shoulder blade.
Scene size-up
A step within the patient assessment process that involves a quick assessment of the scene and the surroundings to provide information about scene safety and the mechanism of injury or nature of illness before you enter and begin patient care.
To split  
Split; cleft  
School age
A person who is 6 to 12 years of age.
Schwann cell
A specialized cell that forms myelin.
Sciatic nerve
The major nerve to the lower extremities; controls much of muscle function in the leg and sensation in most of the leg and foot.
The firm white fibrous outer layer of the eyeball; protects and maintains eyeball shape; the tough, fibrous, white portion of the eye that protects the more delicate inner structures.
Crooked; bent  
A lateral curvature of the spine.
Scoop stretcher
A stretcher that is designed to be spilt into two or four sections that can be fitted around a patient who is lying on the ground or other relatively flat surface; also called an orthopedic stretcher.
Instrument for visual examination  
Scope of practice
Most commonly defined by state law; outlines the care you are able to provide for the patient/client. The where, when, and how a practitioner may provide services or function as a professional.
Visual examination  
A system that delivers air to the mouth and lungs at various atmospheric pressures, increasing with the depth of the dive; stands for self-contained underwater breathing apparatus.
Sebaceous glands
The oil glands found in the skin; glands that empty their sebum secretion into hair follicles; glands that produce an oily substance called sebum, which discharges along the shafts of the hairs.
The oily substance secreted by sebaceous glands that prevent dehydration, softens skin and hair, and slows the growth of bacteria.
Second messenger
Intracellular molecule generated by binding of a chemical to a membrane receptor; mediates intracellular responses.
Secondary assessment
A step within the patient assessment process in which a systematic physical examination of the patient is performed. The examination may be a systamatic full-body scan or a systematic assessment that focuses on a certain area or region of the body, often determined through the cheif complaint.
Secondary blast injury
A penetrating or nonpenetrating injury caused by ordnance projectiles or secondary missiles.
Secondary containment
An engineered method to control spilled or released product if the main containment vessel fails.
Secondary device
An additional explosive used by terrorists, set to explode after the initial bomb.
Secondary (immune) response
Second and subsequent responses of the immune system to a previously met antigen; more rapid and more vigorous than the primary response.
Secondary (indirect) injury
The "after effects" of the primary injury; includes abnormal processes such as cerebral edema, increased intracranial pressure, cerebral ischemia and hypoxia, and infection; onset is often delayed following the primary brain injury.
Secondary prevention
Efforts to limit the effects of an injury or illness that you cannot completely prevent.
Secondary sex characteristics
Anatomical features that develop under influence of sex hormones (male or female pattern of muscle development, bone growth, body hair, ect.) that are not directly involved in the reproductive process.
Secondary Traumatization
The stress resulting from empathic engagement with traumatized clients.  
Secondary triage
A type of patient sorting used in the treatment sector that involves retriage of patients.
The passage of material formed by a cell to its exterior; cell product that is transported to the cell exterior.
To cut  
Secure attachment
A bond between an infant and his or her parent or caregiver, in which the infant understands that his or her parents or caregivers will be responsive to his or her needs and take care of him or her when he or she needs help.
A substance that decreases activity and excitement.
Generalized, uncoordinated muscular activity associated with loss of consciousness; a convulsion.
Holding oneself responsible for one's actions.  
The ability to perceive aspects of on's personality, traits, behaviors, feelings, motivations, and thought process.  
Self-Contained Breathing Apparatus (SCBA)
Respirator with independent air supply used by fire fighters to enter toxic and otherwise dangerous atmospheres.
Freedom from interference in regards to one's life and autonomy  
The act of revealing professional or personal information about oneself.  
A psychological term that reflects an overall emotional evaluation of one's own worth, abilities, and self-respect.  
Fluid mixture produced by male reproductive structures; contains sperm, nutrients, and mucus; seminal fluid ejaculated from the penis and containing sperm.
Semilunar valves
Valves that prevent blood return to the ventricles after contraction.
Semen; seed  
Seminal vesicles
Storage sacs for sperm and seminal fluid, which empty into the urethra at the prostate.
Seminiferous tubules
Highly convoluted tubes within the testes that form sperm.
Semi-permeable boundary
This boundary indicates a flexible relationship with the outside world. It is characterized by allowing closeness if appropriate and keeping someone at a distance when necessary.  
Developing a sensitivity to a substance that initially caused no allergic reaction.
Sensorineural deafness
A permanent lack of hearing caused by a lesion or damage of the inner ear.
Sensory nerve
A nerve that contains processes of sensory neurons and carries nerve impulses to the central nervous system (CNS); the nerves that carry sensations of touch, taste, heat, cold, pain, and other modalities from the body to the central nervous system (CNS).
Sensory nerve cell
An initiator of nerve impulses following receptor stimulation.
The quality or state of being sensual. Connection with the senses, as opposed to the intellect. The awareness of bodily sensation, taking pleasure in sensation and utilizing sensation to be more fully present in our bodies.  
Septic shock
Shock caused by severe infection, usually a bacterial infection.
Sequential relationships
When one set of roles completely ends before a different set of roles begins.  
Serum; serous  
A neurotransmitter that works primarily as an inhibitor in the central nervous system CNS) and is synthesized into melatonin and affects our sleep and moods.
Serous fluid
A clear, watery fluid secreted by the cells of a serous membrane.
Serous membrane
Membrane that lines a cavity without an opening to the outside of the body (except for joint cavities); serosa.
Sertraline hydrochloride (Rx)
Brand name; Zoloft. Generic name; Sertraline hydrochloride. Classified as a Selective serotonin reuptake inhibitor (SSRI). It relieves depression and is used for treatment of Post Traumatic Stress Disorder (PTSD), Fibromyalgia, and Neuropathy. It works to affect chemicals in the brain that may become unbalanced. Clients who take Zoloft may experience insomnia, abdominal pain, constipation, diarrhea, and sexual dysfunction. It is best to use abdominal massage to help relieve constipation, and keep client awake.
Sesamoid bones
Round bones that often are embedded in tendons and joint capsules
Hepta-; sept-; septi-  
Seven Emotions, The
The Asian concept that joy, anger, fear, fright, sadness, worry, and grief are emotional responses that may trigger disharmony in the body, mind, or spirit under certain conditions.
Severe Acute Respiratory Syndrome (SARS)
Potentially life-threatening viral infection that usually starts with flulike symptoms.
Severe airway obstruction
Occurs when a foreign body completely obstructs the patient's airway. Patients cannot breathe, talk, or cough.
A term relating to gender, biology, reproduction, and sexual activity.  
Sex chromosomes
Chromosomes that determine genetic sex; the X and Y chromosomes.
Sexual assault
An attack against a person that is sexual in nature, the most common of which is rape.
Sexual harassment
Unwelcome sexual advances, bullying or coercion of a sexual nature. It can also include the promise of rewards in exchange for sexual favors, or the threat of consequences for non-compliance.  
Sexual misconduct
A continuum of behavior from sexual impropriety to sexual violation. Sexual misconduct occurs when the fiduciary aspect of a therapeutic relationship is compromised, and is the result of the disregard of ethics, boundaries, and genuine care for the client.  
Sexual orientation
Refers to which gender(s) a person is attracted to sexually.  
Sexual response cycle
A four-phase cycle in men and women, with distinct, gender-specific physiological changes that occur in each phase.
The emotional, physical, cultural, or spiritual actions or reactions to sexual arousal. Sexuality is greater than the sum of its parts. Sexuality encompasses biological (anatomy and physiology), psychological (thoughts, feelings, and values) and cultural (family, society, and religious) influences.  
Sexualization Making an event, procedure, conversation, or experience into something that is sexual or could be interpreted as sexual.  
Shaken baby syndrome
A syndrome seen in abused infants and children; the patient has been subjected to violent, whiplash-type shaking injuries inflicted by the abusing individual that may cause coma, seizures, and increased intracranial pressure due to tearing of the cerebral veins with consequent bleeding into the brain.
Shallow respirations
Respirations that are charcterized by little movement of the chest wall (reduced tidal volume) or poor chest excursion.
A term commonly used on social networking sites when you like a comment and want to share it on your own account, or make a comment and share it publicly.  
Shiatsu translates to finger pressure and although Shiatsu is primarily pressure, usually applied with the thumbs, along the meridian lines, extensive soft tissue manipulation and both active and passive exercise and stretching may be part of the treatments.  
Shiatsu Anma Therapy
This method is based on the energetic system of Traditional Chinese Medicine in long form and contemporary pressure therapy which is based on neuro-musculo-skeletal system in short form.  
An inadequate blood supply to vital organs, causing reduced function in these organs; failure of the circulatory system to perfuse tissues; hypoperfusion of the circulatory system; a condition in which the circulatory system fails to provide sufficient circulation to enable every body part to perform its function; also called hypoperfusion.
Shoulder girdle
Composite of two bones, scapula and clavicle, that attach the upper limb to the axial skeleton; also called pectoral girdle; the proximal portion of the upper extremity, made up of the clavicle, scapula, and humerus.
Tubes that drain fluid from the brain to another part of the body outside of the brain, such as the abdomen; lowers pressure in the brain.
Salivary gland  
Sickle cell disease
A hereditary disease that causes normal, round red blood cells to become oblong, or sickle shaped.
Side effects
Any effects of a medication other than the desired ones.
Sigmoid colon  
Objective changes that someone other than the client or patient can observe and measure; objective findings that can be seen, heard, felt, smelled, or measured.
Simple access
Access that is easily achieved without the use of tools or force.
Simple pneumothorax
Any pneumothorax that is free from significant physiologic changes and does not cause drastic changes in the vital signs of the patient.
Single-frequency radio; transmissions can occur in either direction but not simultaneously in both; when one party transmits, the other can only receive, and the party that is transmitting is unable to receive.
Sinemet (Rx)
Brand name; Sinemet. Generic name; Carbidopa and Levodopa. Classified as an Antiparkinson. It improves voluntary movement in the treatment of Cerebral palsy and Parkinson's disease. It works when the body and brain transform the Levodopa into a substance that helps to decrease tremors and other symptoms of Parkinson's disease. Carbidopa helps Levodopa to reach the brain. Clients who take Sinemet may experience cardiac irregularities, involuntary grimacing, dry mouth, or constipation. It is best to offer water. Abdominal massage might relieve constipation.
Sinequan (Rx)
Brand name; Sinequan. Generic name; Doxepin hydrochloride. Classified as a Tricyclic Antidepressant. It relieves depression and anxiety in the treatment of Fibromyalgia. It is not known how it works. Clients who take Sinequan may experience tachycardia, drowsiness, dry mouth, or constipation. It is best to offer water, adjust positioning when needed, and help client on/off the table.
Single command system
A command system in which one person is in charge; generally used with small incidents that involve only one responding agency or one jurisdiction.
Sinoatrial node
The mass of specialized myocardial cells in the wall of the right atrium; pacemaker of the heart.
Four groups of air-filled spaces that open into the internal nose. They are located in the frontal, ethmoid, sphenoid, and maxillary bones of the skull. Sinuses are lined with mucosa and function to lighten the weight of the skull, making it easier to hold the head up and help in the production of sound; mucous membrane-lined, air-filled cavity in certain cranial bones; a dilated channel for passage of blood or lymph.
Sinus bradycardia
A rhythm that has consistent P waves, consistent P-R intervals, and a regular heart rate that is less than 60 beats/min.
Sinus rhythm
A rhythm in which the sinoatrial node acts as the pacemaker.
Sinus tachycardia
A rhythm that has consistant P waves, consistent P-R intervals, and a regular heart rate that is more than 100 beats/min.
State of; condition  
Hex-; hexa-; sex-  
Six Pernicious, The
The Asian concept that heat, cold, wind, dampness, dryness, and summer heat, which are natural climate changes, may induce disease under certain conditions.
The ongoing process of information gathering and scene evaluation to determine appropriate strategies and tactics to manage an emergency.
Skeletal muscle
Muscle composed of cylindrical multinucleate cells with obvious striations; the muscle(s) attached to the body's skeleton; also called voluntary muscle; muscle that is attached to bones and usually crosses at least one joint; striated, or voluntary muscle.
Skeletal muscle fibers
Large, cross-striated cells that are connected to the skeleton and under voluntary control of the nervous system.
Skeletal system
System of protection and support composed primarily of bone and cartilage.
The framework that gives the body its recognizable form; also designed to allow motion of the body and protection of vital organs.
Bony enclosure for the brain.
False and damaging information about a person's reputation that is communicated by spoken word. A fleeting oral defamation by methods such as spoken words or sounds, sign language, and gestures. Note: Due to their broad reach, words broadcasted on television, radio, and video is considered slander. Also known as libel.
Sliding scale
Using a sliding scale to determine fees that you offer a range of fees based on the client's income. For instance, someone who has a low salary would pay your lowest rate of $40 per hour and a wealthier person would pay your standard rate of $90 an hour, with gradations in between.  
A bandage or material that helps to support the weight of an injured upper extremity.
Small intestine
The portion of the digestive tube between the stomach and cecum, consisting of the duodenum, jejunum, and ileum.
A highly contagious disease; it is most contagious when blisters begin to form.
Small-volume nebulizer
A respiratory device that holds liquid medicine that is turned into a fine mist. The patient inhales the medication into the airways and lungs as a treatment for conditions like asthma.
Smooth muscle fibers
Muscle fibers that are neither striated nor voluntary. These muscle cells help regulate blood flow through the cardiovascular system, propel food through the gut, and squeeze secretions from glands; muscle consisting of spindle-shaped, unstriped (nonstriated) muscle cells; involuntary muscle; involuntary muscle; it constitutes the bulk of the gastrointestinal tract and is present in nearly every organ to regulate automatic activity.
Sniffing position
An upright position in which the patient's head and chin are thrust slightly forward to keep the airway open.
Noisy, raspy breathing, usually with the mouth open; indicates an airway obstruction.
SOAP notes
The acronym refers to Subjective, Objective, Assessment or Analysis, and Plan, the four parts of the written account of record keeping.
Social media policy
A code of conduct that provides guidelines to those who post content on the Internet either as part of a business or as a private individual.
Soft tissue
Usually referring to myofascial tissues, or any tissues which do not contain minerals (bone).
Solid organs
Solid masses of tissue where much of the chemical work of the body takes place (eg. Liver, spleen, pancreas, and kidneys).
The dissolved subtance in a solution.
A homogenous mixture of two or more components; a liquid mixture that cannot be separated by filtering or allowing the mixture to stand.
Soman (GD)
A nerve agent that is one of the G agents; twice as persistent as sarin and five times as lethal; it has a fruity odor, as a result of the type of alcohol used in the agent, and is a contact and an inhalation hazard that can enter the body through skin absorption and through the respiratory tract.
Somatic nervous system
The part of the nervous system that regulates activities over which there is voluntary control; a system of nerves that keeps the body in balance with its external environment by transmitting impulses between the central nervous system, skeletal muscles, and skin; a division of the peripheral nervous system (PNS); also called the voluntary nervous system.
Somatic pain
Pain that arises from the body as opposed to the viscera. Superficial somatic pain comes from the stimulation of receptors in the skin, whereas deep somatic pain arises from stimulation of receptors in skeletal muscles, joints, tendons, and fasciae.
Somatic practitioners
Trained professionals who touch the physical or energetic body of the client or who use a method of movement to affect the body of a client for the purpose of facilitating awareness, health, and well-being. The term as used here is interchangeable with manual therapists and includes massage therapists, bodyworkers, movement educators, practitioners of Asian methods, and practitioners who work primarily with energy fields.  
Sonata (Rx)
Brand name; Sonata. Generic name; Zaleplon. Classified as a Sedative hypnotic. it is used for sedation for insomnia. It is also used during pregnancy to depress the Central Nervous system (CNS) causing drowsiness. Is meant for a short-term treatment of insomnia. Clients who take Sonata may experience abdominal pain, dry mouth, and chest pain. It is best to use deep tissue treatment work with caution.
To tear; cut  
Scanty; scarce  
Sudden contraction of muscle  
Term used to describe a muscle with excessive tone.
Span of control
In incident command, the subordinate positions under the commander's direction to which the workload is distributed; the supervisor/worker ratio.
Special Atomic Demolition Munitions (SADM)
Small suitcase-sized nuclear weapons that were designed to destroy individual targets, such as important buildings, bridges, tunnels, and large ships.
Special Populations
Each group of people that inhabit the margins of our society has a unique set of needs. Specific areas of Special Populations include; Children, Disabled people, Elderly, Ethnic minorities, Immigrants and Refugees, Prisoners, Pregnant women, Students, Veterans and Military Personnel.
Special Weapons and Tactics Team (SWAT)
A specialized law enforcement tactical unit.
Image; spectrum  
Spermatozoa; sperm cells  
Spermatozoa; sperm cells  
The process of sperm production in the male; involves meiosis.
A circular muscle surrounding an opening; acts as a valve; muscles arranged in circles that are able to decrease the diameter of tubes. Examples are found within the rectum, bladder, and blood vessels.
Wedge; sphenoid bone  
Globe-shaped; round  
A device used to measure blood pressure.
Spine or backbone  
Spina bifida
A development defect in which a portion of the spinal cord or meninges may protrude outside of the vertebrae and possibly even outside of the body, usually at the lower third of the spine in the lumbar area.
Spinal cord
Portion of the central nervous system (CNS) that exits the skull into the vertebral column. The two major functions of the spinal cord are to conduct nerve impulses and to be a center for spinal reflexes; an extension of the brain, composed of virtually all the nerves carrying messages between the brain and the rest of the body. It lies inside of and is protected by the spinal canal.
Spinal Immobilization
Critical trauma patient care that involves the maintenance of the spinal column, in-line, in place so that further injury to that area will be prevented during patient removal or handling.
Spinal nerves
Thirty-one pairs of mixed nerves, originating in the spinal cord and emerging from the vertebral column, that make sensation and movement possible.
To breathe  
Viscera or internal organs  
Splenic sequestration crisis
An acute, painful enlargement of the spleen caused by sickle cell disease.
A flexible or rigid appliance used to protect and maintain the position of an injured extremity.
Spongy (cancellous) bone
The lighter-weight portion of bone made up of trabeculae.
Spontaneous pneumothorax
A pneumothorax that occurs when a weak area on the lung ruptures in the absence of major injury, allowing air to leak into the pleural space.
Spontaneous respirations
Breathing that occurs with no assistance.
A person who assists a driver in backing up an ambulance to compensate for blind spots at the back of the vehicle.
A joint injury involving damage to supporting ligaments, and sometimes partial or temporary dislocation of bone ends.
Flat, scalelike; pertaining to flat, thin cells that form the free surface of some epithelial tissues.
Stable; fixed  
A force or an object that helps maintain a position. Stabilization is essential to assess movement patterns accurately.
Staging supervisor
In incident command, the person who locates an area to stage equipment, personnel, and tracks unit arrival and deployment from the staging area.
Stair chair
A lightweight folding device that is used to carry a conscious, seated patient up or down stairs.
Standard of Care
Written, accepted levels of emergency care expected by reason of training and profession; written by legal or professional organizations so that patients are not exposed to unreasonable risk or harm.
Standards of Practice
Statements that describe the underlying principles of a given field, the expectations of professional conduct and the quality of care provided to clients.  
Standard Operating Procedures (SOPs)
Formal guidelines developed by emergency organizations to assist in preplanning emergency operations and procedures before the incident.
Standard Precautions
Safety measures established by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC). The precautions were instituted to prevent the spread of bacterial and viral infections by setting up specific methods of dealing with human fluids and waste products. Standard precautions protect client and practitioner from pathogens; protective measures that have traditionally been developed by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention for use in dealing with objects, blood, body fluids, and other potential exposure risks of communicable diseases.
Standing orders
Written documents, signed by the EMS system's medical director, that outline specific directions, permissions, and sometimes prohibitions regarding patient care; also called protocols.
Stapes or middle ear bone  
Clusters; uvula  
Star of Life®
The six-pointed star that identifies vehicles that meet federal specifications as licensed or certified ambulances.
Start triage
A patient sorting process that stands for Simple Triage And Rapid Treatment and uses a limited assessment of the patient's ability to walk, respiratory status, hemodynamic status, and neurologic status.
To stop; control; place  
A decrease or stoppage of flow; a state of nonchange.
Device; instrument for keeping something stationary  
State-sponsored terrorism
Terrorism that is funded and/or supported by nations that hold close ties with terrorist groups.
Pertaining to stopping; controlling  
Static equilibrium
Balance concerned with changes in the position of the head.
Static force
Force applied to an object in such a way that it does not produce movement.
Status epilepticus
A condition in which seizures recur every few minutes or last more than 30 minutes.
Statute of limitations
The time within which a case must be commenced.
Steam burn
A burn caused by exposure to hot steam.
Fat; sebum  
STEMI (ST-segment elevation myocardial infraction)
Elevation of the ST segment of the 12-lead ECG that is likely evidence that the patient is having a heart attack.
Narrowed; constricted  
Tightening; stricture  
Abnormal constriction or narrowing.
Solid structure; steroid  
Solid; three-dimensional  
A process, such as heating, that removes microbial contamination.
Breastbone area.
Sternocleidomastoid (SCM) muscles
The muscles on either side of the neck that allow movement of the head; Acting unilateral, sameside Lateral flexion, and opposite side rotation. Acting bilateral, flexes the head and neck, raises the sternum to assists in forced inspiration.
The breastbone.
A specific group of chemical substances including certain hormones and cholesterol.
Mark; point  
An agent that produces an excited state.
An excitant or irritant; a change in the environment producing a response.
To set; pertaining to standing or positioned  
An opening through the skin and into an organ or other structure; a stoma in the neck connects the trachea directly to the skin.
Condition of the mouth  
New opening or forming a mouth  
Stretching or tearing of a muscle/tendon; also called a muscle pull.
Complete obstruction of blood circulation in a given organ as a result of compression or entrapment; an emergency situation causing death of tissue.
A layer.
Stratum corneal layer
The outermost or dead layer of the skin.
Twisted chains  
Any external or internal stimulus that requires a change or response to prevent an imbalance in the internal environment of the body, mind, or emotions. Stress may be any activity that makes demands on mental and emotional resources. Some responses to stress may stimulate neurons of the hypothalamus to release corticotropin-releasing hormone.
Any stimulus that directly or indirectly causes the hypothalamus to initiate stress-reducing responses, such as the fight-or-flight response.
Striated muscle
Muscle consisting of cross-striated (cross-striped) muscle fibers; includes cardiac and skeletal muscle.
Abnormal, high-pitched, musical sound caused by an obstruction in the trachea or larynx; usually heard during inspiration; a high-pitched noise heard primarily on inspiration.
A condition in which brain tissue is deprived of a blood supply; as in blockage of a cerebral blood vessel; an interruption of blood flow to the brain that results in the loss of brain function; also called a cerebrovascular accident (CVA).
Stroke volume (SV)
A volume of blood ejected by a ventricle during systole; the volume of blood pumped forward with each ventricular contraction.
Supporting tissue of an organ  
Structure fire
A fire in a house, apartment building, office, school, plant, warehouse, or other building.
Pole; stake  
A plastic-coated wire that gives added rigidity and shape to the endotracheal tube.
Under; below  
Diseases with characteristics between acute and chronic.
Subarachnoid hemorrhage
Bleeding into the subarachnoid space, where the cerebrospinal fluid circulates.
Beneath the skin.
Subcutaneous emphysema
A characteristic crackling sensation felt on palpation of the skin, caused by the presence of air in soft tissues.
Subcutaneous (SC) injection
Injection into the tissue between the skin and muscle; a medication delivery route.
Subcutaneous tissue
Tissue, largely fat, that lies directly under the dermis and serves as an insulator of the body.
Subdural hematoma
An accumulation of blood beneath the dura mater but outside the brain.
The psychological term of diverting the energy of a primitive impulse (especially a sexual one) into activities that are considered to be more acceptable socially, morally, or aesthetically.  
Sublingual (SL)
Under the tongue; a medication delivery route.
A partial or incomplete dislocation.
Mandible or lower jaw bone  
Substance abuse
The misuse of any substance to produce some desired effect.
Sucking chest wound
An open or penetrating chest wall wound through which air passes during inspiration and expiration, creating a sucking sound. See also open pneumothorax.
Sucking reflex
An infant reflex in which the infant starts sucking when his or her lips are stroked.
Suction catheter
A hollow, cylindrical device used to remove fluid from the patient's airway.
Sudden Infant Death Syndrome (SIDS)
Death of an infant or young child that remains unexplained after a complete autopsy.
Sudoriferous glands
The glands that produce a saline solution called sweat; also called sweat glands.
A word element added to the end of a root to change the meaning of the word.
A furrow on the brain, less deep than a fissure.
Sulfasalazine (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.
Sulfur mustard (H)
A vesicant; it is a brownish, yellowish oily substance that is generally considered very persistent; has the distinct smell of garlic or mustard and , when released, is quickly absorbed into the skin and/or mucous membranes and begins an irreversible process of damaging the cells.
Sumatriptan Succinate (Rx)
Brand name; Imitrex. Generic name; Sumatriptan succinate. Classified as an Antimigraine. It relieves acute migraine pain and is used for treatment of Migraine headaches. It activates specific receptor subtypes in the cranial arteries and veins acting as an agonist to reduce vascular inflammation. Clients who take Imitrex may experience cardiovascular abnormalities, drowsiness, and abdominal discomfort. It is best to avoid prone position depending on comfort, and help client on/off the table.
The accumulation of effects, especially those of muscular, sensory, or mental stimuli.
Above; beyond  
Superficial (external)
Nearer to the surface of the body; the opposite of deep; located close to or on the body surface; closer to or on the skin.
Superficial (first-degree) burns
Burns affecting only the epidermis; characterized by skin that is red but not blistered or actually burned through.
Superficial fascia
The subcutaneous tissue that composes the third layer of skin, consists of loose connective tissue, and contains fat or adipose tissue.
Towards the head; refers to the head or upper body regions.
Superior vena cava
One of the two largest veins in the body; carries blood from the upper extremities, head, neck, and chest into the heart.
The process of working with a more experienced practitioner or counselor for the purpose of dealing with day-to-day challenges, ethical dilemmas, and setting boundaries. An ongoing arrangement made with a professional trained in psychological dynamics for help with the relationship aspects of a practitioner's work. Supervision includes clarifying the client's transference issues and the practitioner's countertransference issues, suggesting effective interventions and identifying the practitioner's vulnerabilities and areas of strength.  
External rotary movement of the radius on the ulna that results in the hand moving from the palm-down to the palm-up position; the outward rotation of the forearm causing palms to face anteriorly.
Lying horizontal with the face up.
Supine hypotensive syndrome
Low blood pressure resulting from compression of the inferior vena cava by the weight of the pregnant uterus when the mother is supine.
To stop  
Suppressor T cells
Regulatory T lymphocytes that suppress the immune response.
Above; upper  
Surface anatomy
The study of internal organs and structures as they can be recognized and related to external features.
A chemical substance coating the pulmonary alveoli walls that reduces surface tension, thus preventing collapse of the alveoli after expiration; A liquid protein substance that coats the alveoli in the lungs, decreases alveolar surface tension, and keeps the alveoli expanded; a low level in a premature infant contributes to respiratory distress syndrome.
A person who perseveres despite hardships or trauma.  
A maxture of ground particles that are distributed evenly throughout a liquid but do not dissolve.
A synarthrotic joint in which two bony components are united by a thin layer of dense fibrous tissue; immovable fibrous joints that connect the bones of the adult skull.
A bandage that passes around the chest to secure an injured arm to the chest.
Sweat Glands
The sudoriferous glands in the skin; they are classified as apocrine or eccrine based on their location and structure; the glands that produce a saline solution called sweat; also called sudoriferous glands; the glands that secrete sweat, located in the dermal layer of the skin.
Together; with  
Sympathetic division
A division of the autonomic nervous system (ANS); opposes parasympathetic functions; called the fight-or-flight division.
Sympathetic nervous system (SNS)
The part of the autonomic nervous system (ANS) that provides for most of the active restrictive functions of the body; when the body is under stress, the sympathetic nervous system predominates with fight-or-flight response. The opposite of sympathetic nervous system is the parasympathetic nervous system (PNS) that provides the relaxation or rest and digest response functions of the body; the part of the autonomic nervous system that controls active functions such as responding to fear.
A cartilaginous joint in which the two bony components are joined directly by fibrocartilage in the form of a disk or plate. A union between two bones formed by fibrocartilage; a type of joint that has grown together forming a very stable connection.
The subjective changes noticed or felt only by the client or patient; subjective findings that the patient feels but that can be identified only by the patient.
Together; with  
Synaps/o, Synapt/o
Point of contact; to join  
Spaces between neurons or between a neuron and an effector organ; the region of communication between neurons.
Synaptic cleft
The fluid-filled space at a synapse between neurons.
A limited-movement, nonsynovial joint; an immovable joint, such as skull sutures.
A union between two bones formed either by hyaline cartilage or fibrocartilage. A joint in which the material used for connecting the two components is hyaline growth cartilage.
To cut off; cut short; faint  
Brief lapse in consciousness; a fainting spell or transient loss of consciousness, often caused by an interruption of blood flow to the brain.
A fibrous joint in which two bony components are joined directly by a ligament, cord, or aponeurotic membrane.
A group of different signs and symptoms that identify a pathologic condition, especially when they have a common cause.
Syndromic surveillance
The monitoring, usually by local or state health departments, of patients presenting to emergency departments and alternative care facilities, the recording of EMS call volume, and the use of over-the-counter medications.
A muscle that supports the prime mover. A muscle that aids or assists the action of the agonist but is not primarily responsible for the action; also known as a guiding muscle; muscles cooperating with another muscle or muscle group to produce a desired movement.
Synovia; synovial membrane; sheath around a tendon  
Synovial fluid
A thick, colorless, lubricating fluid secreted by the joint cavity membrane; a fluid secreted by the synovial membrane; lubricates joint surfaces and nourishes articular cartilages; the small amount of liquid within a joint used as lubrication.
Synovial joint
A joint containing a lubricating substance (synovial fluid) and lined with synovial membrane or capsule. A freely moving joint allowing motion in one or more planes of action; freely movable joint exhibiting a joint cavity enclosed by an articular (fibrous) capsule lined with synovial membrane.
Synovial membrane
Membrane that lines the capsule of a synovial joint; the lining of a joint that secretes synovial fluid into the joint space.
Synthesis reaction
Chemical reaction in which larger molecules are formed from simpler ones.
A group of organs that function cooperatively to accomplish a common purpose; there are eleven major systems in the human body.
General; pertaining to the whole body.
Systemic anatomy
The study of the structure of a particular body system.
Systemic circulation
System of blood vessels that carries nutrient and oxygen-rich blood to all body organs; the portion of the circulatory system outside of the heart and lungs.
Systemic complication
A moderate to severe complication affecting the systems of the body, after administration of medications, the reaction might be systemic.
Systemic edema
An accumulation of fluid in body organs or tissues.
Systemic Vascular Resistance (SVR)
The resistance that blood must overcome to be able to move within the blood vessels. SVR is related to the amount of dilation or constriction in the blood vessel.
The contraction phase of heart activity.
Systolic pressure
The pressure generated by the left ventricle during systole; the increased pressure in an artery with each contraction of the ventricles (systole).



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