Glossary of Specialized Terms
Adhesions — Bands of fibrous scar tissue.
Aerobic exercise — See Cardiovascular exercise.
Anterior — Toward the front, or in front.
Arthritis — Degenerative joint disease characterized by inflammation, pain, damage and or erosion of joint cartilage.
Articular — Relating to the junction between two bones.
Basal metabolism — The amount of energy that used while the body is at rest.
Blood volume — The amount of blood in the body.
Bursitis — Inflammation of the bursa; the fluid-filled sacs that reduce friction between body parts.
Cardiac output — The amount of blood pumped by the heart per minute.
Cardiovascular exercise — Conditioning exercise that increases the amount of work done by the heart and lungs over a sustained period of time. Also called aerobic exercise.
Carpal Tunnel Syndrome — A condition characterized by pain, tingling, and numbness in the wrist and/or hand.
Cartilage — Tough, shiny, elastic tissue found in the ear, nose, etc.; also covers the articular surfaces of bone.
Cerclage — A suture placed around the cervix.
Cervix — The outer end (neck) of the uterus.
Coccyx — The bottom bone of the spine; the tailbone.
Concentric contraction — Muscular action where muscle fibers shorten during exertion. Opposite of eccentric contraction.
Contraction — See concentric contraction.
Contraindicated — Proscribed.
Core conditioning — Exercise modality that increases strength and stability in the torso and spine.
Core muscles — Deep muscles of the torso.
Diastasis Recti — Abdominal Separation.
Dynamic instability — Characterized by the inability to maintain proper positioning during movement.
Dynamic stability — Characterized by the ability to maintain proper positioning during movement.
Ecentric contraction — Muscular action where muscle fibers lengthen during exertion. Opposite of concentric contraction.
Edema — Swelling caused by abnormal fluid buildup.
Episiotomy — Incision of the perineum during labor.
Erector Spinae — Muscles that extend the back.
Ergonomic — Designed to reduce fatigue or discomfort.
Extension — The act of straightening a limb or joint.
External Oblique — Abdominal muscle primarily responsible for lateral flexion of the spine.
Fetus — The unborn human after the eighth week of pregnancy.
Flexibility — Range of motion at a joint or in the body.
Flexion — The act of bending a limb or joint.
Gluteals — Muscles that extend the hips; the buttocks.
Hamstrings — Muscles on the back of the thighs.
Hydration — The act of supplying water (to the body).
Hypertension — High blood pressure.
Hypertonic — Extreme muscular tension or tightness.
Hypotension — Low blood pressure.
Hypotonic — Extreme muscular weakness or atrophy.
Iliac crests — The frontal protuberance of the ilea, or hipbones.
Iliopsoas — Deep muscles of the lower back and hips that flex the hip.
Intercostal muscles — Small muscles between the ribs.
Internal Oblique — Abdominal muscle primarily responsible for lateral flexion of the spine.
Interval Training — Intense athletic training designed to build speed and power.
Ischium — The bottom bones of the pelvis.
Kyphotic — Referring to the curve of the thoracic spine.
Lateral — Relating to the side.
Laxity — Condition marked by lack of tone or firmness.
Levator Scapulae — Upper back muscles that elevate the shoulders.
Ligament — Elastic, fibrous tissue that connect bones and stabilizes joints.
Linea Alba — Connective tissue at the body's midline.
Lochia — Normal postpartum bleeding.
Longitudinal arch — The arch of the foot that spans the heel to the toes. The instep.
Lordotic — Relating to the lumbar curve of the lower back.
Metabolism — Energy usage and/or processes within a cell to maintain life.
Metatarsal arch — The arch of the foot that spans the base of the toes.
Multifitus — Deepest spinal muscles.
Musculoskeletal — Relating to muscles and the skeleton.
Neck flexors — Muscles that shorten the distance between the chin and the chest.
Neutral spine — Position where the spine is not flexed, extended, twisted or tilted. When standing, the body is symmetrically balanced around the central axis of gravity.
Oblique — Diagonal.
Patella — Kneecap.
Pectoral — Relating to the muscles of the chest.
Pelvic floor — Referring to muscles that cover the pelvic outlet; the pubococcygeals.
Pelvic instability — A condition where the joints of the pelvis display hypermobility.
Pelvic outlet — The opening at the bottom of the pelvis.
Perineum — Strong fibrous connective tissue of the vulva.
Placenta — Circulatory organ that develops during pregnancy to which the umbilical cord of the fetus is attached.
Placenta previa — A condition where the placenta is adjacent to or blocks the cervix.
Posterior — Toward the rear.
Pre-eclampsia — A condition marked by hypertension during pregnancy.
Prolapse — To fall or slide out of place.
Pubic Symphysis — Joint where the right and left pubic bones connect.
Pubococcygeals — Relating to pelvic floor muscles.
Prone — Lying on the front of the body, or face down. Opposite of supine.
Quadriceps — Four-part muscle group on the front of the thigh that flexes the hip and straightens the knee.
Quadratus Lumborum — Deep muscle of the lower back responsible for lateral flexion of the spine. Also called the "hip hiker" muscle.
Rectus Abdominis — Abdominal wall muscle primarily responsible for forward flexion.
Rectus Femoris — Large muscle on the front of the thigh that flexes the hip and extends the knee.
Rhomboids — Upper back muscles that elevate and pull the scapulae closer to the spine.
Rotation — The act of turning around an axis.
Sacroiliac — Joint where the pelvis and lower spine meet.
Scapulae — The shoulder blades.
Sciatica — A condition that causes pain to radiate along the sciatic nerve from the lower back to the legs.
Serratus Anterior — Muscle responsible for scapular depression.
Strength training — Exercise with progressive resistance to increase the endurance and power of muscles.
Stroke volume — The amount of blood pumped by the heart per beat.
Sub maximal heart rate — Heart rate intensity below maximal exertion or below 85% of maximal oxygen uptake.
Supine — Lying on the back, face up. Opposite of prone.
Tendon — Connective tissue that connects muscle to bone.
Thoracic Outlet Syndrome — A condition that causes pain, tingling and numbness in the arms.
Thorax — Region of the body between the neck and the diaphragm, or the upper back.
Tidal volume — Amount of air taken in by the lungs per breath.
Tone — Firmness of muscle tissue.
Transverse Abdominis — Deepest layer of the abdominal wall. Responsible for abdominal compression.
Trapezius — Muscle that runs from the neck to the middle of the upper back. Responsible for raising the shoulders and head.
Urinary Stress Incontinence — Leakage of urine due to strain.
Uterus — Female reproductive organ.
Vasculature — Blood vessels.
Vena cava — Large vein of the torso that returns blood to the heart.
Vertebrae — The bones of the spine.