Glossary

AcuteOf short duration and relatively severe.
AdjustmentThe specific application of forces used to facilitate the body’s correction of nerve interference. This can be accomplished through manual practices or with the use of an Activator Device.
AnteriorToward the front of the body.
ArthritisInflammation of a joint which is often accompanied by symptoms and changes in structure.
AtlasThe uppermost and most freely movable bone of the spine.
BiomechanicsThe application of mechanical laws to living structures.
AxisThe second cervical vertebra.
Bone SpurA bony outgrowth. A calcium deposition which can be part of the body’s response to abnormal motion or position of bones in the spine
or elsewhere.
CervicalThe vertebrae of the neck, usually seven bones.
ChiropracticA primary health care profession in which professional responsibility and authority are focused on the anatomy of the spine and immediate
articulation, and the condition of nerve interference. It is also a practice, which encompasses educating, advising about and addressing nerve interference.
ChronicPersisting for a long period of time. A problem showing little change or with a slow progression.
CoccyxA series of small bones below the sacrum that are also known as the tailbone.
Compensation ReactionA new problem that results from the body’s attempt to respond to a problem elsewhere.
Compression LesionA malfunctioning spinal bone or soft tissue that puts direct pressure on a nerve, distorting its function. A relatively
rare phenomenon that is commonly referred to as a pinched nerve. (See Facilitative Lesion)
DegenerationYour spinal bones begin to deform; your discs swell, then shrink; your ligaments, tendons and muscles begin to harden and weaken; and your entire spinal column loses its balance, flexibility, stability and strength.
DiscA cartilage (cushion/pad) that separates spinal vertebrae, absorbs shocks to the spine, protects the nervous system and assists in creating the four normal curves of spine. A disc can bulge, herniated or rupture, but because of the way they connect to the vertebrae above and below, a disc can’t ‘slip.’
EdemaA condition in which fluid fills a damaged joint area causing swelling; similar to the swelling of a sprained ankle or black eye.
ExtremityLower or upper limbs, such as a leg or arm.
FacetThe joint surface of a spinal bone, facing the adjacent bone above or below.
Facilitative LesionA twisting, stretching, chafing or irritation of nerve tissue from malfunctioning spinal structures.
FixationBeing held in a fixed position. “Stuck.” A joint with restricted movement.
ForamenAn opening, a hole or passageway in a bone for blood vessels or nerves.
HealthA state of optimal physical, mental and social well-being and not merely the absence of disease and infirmity. When your body works the way it was designed to work.
HerniationA protrusion of an organ or part of an organ through the wall that normally contains it.
HypermobilityToo much movement.
HypomobilityRestricted movement.
IliumOne of the two large bones that form the pelvis; the hipbone.
InflammationA reaction of soft tissue due to injury that may include malfunction, discomfort, rise in temperature, swelling and increased blood supply.
Intervertebral ForaminaThe lateral opening through which spinal nerve roots exit each side of the spinal column formed by each spinal joint.
KyphosisA backward displacement in the lateral curve of the spine.
LateralThe side view of the body.
LigamentA band or sheet of fibrous connective tissue that binds joints together.
LordosisThe forward curve of the spine. Normally found in the cervical and lumbar areas of the spine.
LumbarThe vertebrae of the lower back, usually five bones.
ManipulationThe forceful passive movement of a joint beyond its active limit of motion. It does not imply the use of precision, specificity or the correction of nerve interference. Therefore, it is not synonymous with chiropractic adjustment.
Nucleus PulposusThe gelatinous mass in the center of a spinal disc.
OccipitalPertaining to the lower, posterior portion of the head or skull which rests on the spinal column.
PalpationExamining the spine with your fingers; the art of feeling with the hands.
Pinched Nerve(See Compressive Lesion)
PosteriorToward the back of the body.
Range of motionThe range, measured in degrees of a circle, through which a joint can be moved.
ReflexAn involuntary action resulting from a stimulus.
SacrumThe triangular bone at the base of the spine.
SacroiliacThe two joints where the pelvis (hip) connects to the sacrum.
SacrumThe triangular bone at the base of the spine.
SciaticaA Pain that radiates from the lower back into the buttocks and down the back of one or both legs caused by the irritation of the sciatic nerves, the largest nerves of the body.
ScoliosisLooking from the back, a sideways curvature of the spine.
Slipped DiscAn incorrect name given a situation in which a disc becomes wedge-shaped and bulges. In extreme cases, pressure can cause a disc to tear or rupture.
SpasmA constant contraction or tightening of a muscle.
Spinous ProcessThe protruding part of the back of each spinal bone that can be seen or felt when examining the spine.
SubluxationA misalignment or malfunction of the spine that is less than a total dislocation, which affects the nervous system and its ability to correctly control or monitor the organs and tissues of the body.
TendonFibrous tissue that connects muscles with bones.
ThoracicPertaining to the 12 vertebrae of the middle back from the base of the neck to about six inches above the waistline to which the ribs attach.
TorticollisA contracted state of the neck muscles that produces a twisting of the neck and unnatural position of the head.
TractionThe act of drawing or exerting a pulling force, as along the long axis of a structure.
Transverse ProcessLateral protrusions (wings) on the side of each vertebrae to which powerful muscles and ligaments attach.
Trigger PointAn involuntarily tight band of muscle that is painful when pressed and can refer pain to other parts of the body.
VertebraAny of the individual bones of the spinal column.
Vertebral Subluxation ComplexTypes of pathology resulting from a Vertebral Subluxation including kinesiopathology, neuropathophysiology, myopathology, hisopathology,
and pathophysiology.
WhiplashAn injury to the spine caused by an abrupt jerking motion, either backward, forward or from the side.