Wellness Glossary


It is a spring-loaded adjusting instrument that utilizes an extremely rapid pulse to restore normal functioning of the body.


This is the practice of applying pressure on the parts of the body to relieve pain.


It is the practice of inserting fine needles on specific meridians points for the purpose of relieving tension and pain. It is useful in treatment of back pain.


This is a psychological, emotional, or physical dependence on the effects of a drug.


It is a form of chiropractic technique involving the application of gentle and firm pressure to a bone. Adjustment uses a high velocity and low amplitude thrust. Its role is to restore the bone to its natural position.

Adrenal glands

These are small glands located on the kidney that produces the stress hormones adrenaline and cortisol.


It is a hormone that stimulates metabolism. It also increases alertness and blood pressure.

Aerobic Exercises             

These are the exercises that involves large muscle group and fosters a strong, healthy heart and lung function.

AIDS (Acquired Immune Deficiency Syndrome)

It is the final stage of HIV disease that causes severe damage to the immune system. Aids begin when a person who is having HIV infection has a CD4 cell count below 200. Aid is also defined by numerous opportunistic infections and cancers that occur in the presence of HIV infection. Aid is the 5th leading cause of death among persons between ages 22 and 44 in the United States.

Alternative medicine

It is the use of various non-drugs, non-surgical related therapies using natural means of treatment.

Amino acid

This is the basic unit from which proteins are made. There are two types of amino acids: essential and non-essential. Essential amino acids are those that cannot be manufactured by the body and they are attained from the diet. Non-essential acids are those that the body can make from other amino acids.


It is the metabolic process if building new tissues. It is used in building muscles, ligaments and tendons.


These are medicines used to relieve pain such as aspirin.


A physician who specializes in giving drugs that block, prevent or relieve pain.

Ankylosing spondylitis

It is a chronic, progressive, rheumatic disease of the spine that causes calcification of the spinal ligaments resulting to loss of movement.

Annulus Fibrosis

It is the tough layer of the intervertebral disc. It is a Cartilage-like material formed in a series of rings surrounding the nucleus of a disc.


It is an inflammation of a joint, mostly caused by degenerative changes related to aging. Arthritis affects joints and connective tissues throughout the body.

Autonomic nervous system

It is the part of nervous system that is responsible for controlling the involuntary functions of the body such as digestion, metabolism and blood pressure.

Back Extension

This is the backward bending of the spine.

Back flexion

This is the forward bending of the spine.

Bariatric surgery

This is the surgery conducted on the stomach or intestine to help overweight patient lose weight. It is a last resort weight loss method used for people who have an excess body mass.

Basal Energy expenditure (BEE)

It is also known as the basal metabolic rate. It is the number of calories that your body needs for basic process such as digestion, breathing and brain function.

Bioelectrical impedance analysis (BIA)

This is a way used to estimate the amount of body weight that is fat and nonfat. Non weight fat comes from bone, muscle, body water, organs and other body tissues.

Body composition score (BCS)

It is a measure that combines body weight relative to height. It is used to determine if people are at a healthy weight, overdose or obese.


This relates to a wide variety of hands on therapies like massage and some movement therapies.

Bulging Disc

The annulus portion of the lumbar disc weakens causing the nucleus to press against it resulting in the annulus pinching.


It is a condition in which the bursas that cushion joints become swollen.



A unit of energy in food


It is a source of energy. It is composed of simple and complex carbohydrate. It is found in foods such as breads, suits and milk.

Cardiovascular system

It is the system in your body that is responsible for distributing blood throughout the body. It is made up of heart, arteries, capillaries and veins.


It is the metabolic process of breaking down tissues. It also refers to the breakdown of muscle, bone, ligaments and tendons.

Carpal Tunnel Syndrome

It is a progressive and painful joint disorder caused by a compression of the median nerve of your hand.


It is a connective tissue that lines the ends of bones and most joints. It lines the facet joints of the spine.

Cauda equine

It is a region at the lower end of the spinal column in which the nerve roots branch out in a fashion that resembles a horse’s tail.

Cervical spine

This is the upper portion of your spine which is also known as the neck.

Chinese medicine

These are the techniques used by china to heal bodily diseases. This medicine includes massage, herbs and acupuncture.

Chiropractic medicine

It is a form of health care that primarily focuses on restoring normal position, motion and function in the body structure such as spine.


This is term given to a doctor of chiropractic who diagnoses and treats a broad range of physical conditions in patients with muscular, nervous and skeletal problems such as spine.

Chronic pain                                                            

It is a pain that has lasted for more than three months having significant psychological and emotional effects and limiting a person’s ability to function well.


It is a fat like substance that is made by the body and is naturally found in animal foods such as meat, fish, poultry, eggs and dairy products.


It is a hormone that is released from the adrenal glands in response to stress that facilitates fat storage and has a catabolic effect on muscle and connective tissues.


This is a small bone at the lower tip of the spine.

Cognitive restructuring

It is a therapy whose emphasis is on learning to recognize and then change or restructure though processes in less stressful terms.

Complementary medicine

This is the use of various non-drugs, non-surgical related therapies. It involves using natural means of treatment.

Compressed nerve

Material from bulging disk pushes against a nerve in the spinal cord causing severe pain.

Computed Tomography (CT) scan

It is an X-ray that uses a computer to produce a detailed cross-sectional three-dimensional picture of the bone and discs.


It is a surgery to cut some of the fibers of the spinal cord and is used to relieve pain.

Cranio-sacral Therapy

It is a manual therapy that focuses on manipulation of the bones in the skull and sacrum.


It is an enzyme that is in two forms, I and II. Type I maintains body functions while Type II is associated with the development of inflammation.


Degenerative Arthritis

It is the wearing a way of cartilage that protects and cushions joints including those in spine, hands and feet.

Degenerative Disc Disease

This is the degeneration of the lumbar spinal discs which serves as cushions between the spinal vertebrae resulting in a narrowing of the disc space.

Diabetes mellitus

It is a disease that occurs when the body is not able to use blood glucose (sugar). Diabetes occurs when the pancreas does not make enough insulin that regulates the blood sugar levels.

Disc Annulus

It is the outer ring of a disk.

Disc Nucleus

It is the inner core of a disk.


It is the surgical removal of part or the entire herniated intervertebral disc.


It is what a person eats and drinks.


Electrical nerve stimulation

A type of physical therapy treatment that utilizes various frequencies and wave forms of electrical current, which have the rapeutic effects on the nervous system.


It is the procedure that tests nerves and muscles providing information to help determine if surgery may be required.


These are chemical messengers released by the body during vigorous exercise that stimulates the brain to feel relaxed.

Energy expenditure

It is the amount of energy measured in calories that a person uses. Calories are used by people to breathe, circulate blood and digest food.

Epidural injection

This is an injection into the spinal column but outside of the spinal cord.


A physical activity that is planned .It involves body movement done to improve components of physical fitness.

Exercise therapy

A form of chiropractic treatment used to help manage pain, rehabilitate damaged soft tissues such as muscles and restore normal range of motion.

Extensor Muscles

These are muscles that straighten your joints such as the back and gluteus muscles that help to keep your back straight.



It a major source of energy in the diet and it helps the body absorb fat-soluble vitamins such as Vitamin A and k. Some kinds of fat may cause blood cholesterol to increase that may lead to heart disease.

Facet joints

These are joints above and below each intervertebral disc that allow the spine to bend. These joints are part of the stabilizing mechanism for the spine.

Facet Joint Syndrome

It is the pain resulting from degeneration, wear, pressure exerted on and inflammatioints.on of the facet joints.


It is a band of connective tissue separating muscles and organs in the body.


It is a condition that causes pain in muscles, joints, ligaments and tendons.


It is the pain arising from damaged tendons or muscles.

Foraminal stenosis

It refers to the narrowing of vertebral opening.

Flexor muscles

These are the muscles that cause your joints to bend, such as your biceps muscle on the front of your upper arm.

Foraminol Stenosis

It is the narrowing of a vertebral opening.


It is a surgical procedure to unite two or more vertebrae with bone graft with or without metal support resulting in immobilization of that portion.


Gestational diabetes

It is a type of diabetes mellitus that can occur when a woman is pregnant. In the second half of her pregnancy, a woman may have glucose in her blood at higher than normal level.


A hormone released from the stomach and the small intestine that creates the sensation of hunger.



A hormone released from the pancreas that elevates blood sugar by stimulating the release of glucose stores in Liver and muscle.


It is a building block of carbohydrates. During digestion carbohydrate is broken into glucose that goes to blood cells where it is used for energy.

Glycemic index

It is a measure of a food’s ability to raise the body’s glucose level.

Golfer’s Elbow

It is a type of elbow pain that originates near the inside part of the bony protrusion. This type of pain is also caused by a tear in the tendon supporting the elbow bone.


Health weight

It is a body weight that is less likely to be linked with any weight-related health problem such as Type II diabetes, heart disease or high blood cholesterol. A person with a body percentage that lies between 18-22 is considered to be a healthy weight.

Heat therapy

A form of therapy often used in patients who have chronic, or long lasting pain. Heat therapy can involve many kinds such as simple heating pads, wraps and warm gel packs. It is used to relax the muscle and increase circulation.

Herniated Disc

It is a disk that protrudes from its normal position between two vertebrae, due to an injury to the annulus.

High blood pressure

Refer to hypertension.


High density lipoprotein (HDL)

It is a form of cholesterol that circulates in the blood and is referred to as “good” cholesterol. HDL lowers the risk of heart disease.

Hip circumference

It is a measurement of the hips, including the widest portion of the buttocks, used in conjunction with the waist circumference, body weight and percent body to calculate the body composition score.


It is a Resting blood pressure that is greater or equal to 140/90 mm Hg. It is associated with an increased risk of heart disease and stroke.


It is an area of the brain that is a main control center for regulating eating and sleeping behavior in human. It has binding sites for several hormones such as leptin.


Ice massage

A form of therapy involving the application of ice to treat much kind of injuries such as those associated with back or neck pain.

Instrument adjustments

A form of chiropractic adjustment using a spring loaded device known as an Activator.

Interferential current (IFC)

A form of transcutaneous electrical nerve stimulation (TENS) therapy in which high electrical impulses are introduced deep into the tissue near the center of the pain.

Ideal body weight

The weight your body would be if you had a 20% body fat. It is calculated by multiplying your current lean body mass by 1.2.


It is method of pain relief that uses mental images produced by imagination or memory.


It is a hormone in the body which helps to move glucose from the blood to muscles and other tissues.


This is a pathological process that is associated with redness, heat, swelling, pain, and loss of function. This process destroys tissues but is also associated with the repair and healing of body structures.

Irritable Bowel Syndrome

This is a condition characterized by a combination of abdominal pain and altered bowel function.


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It is the study of muscles and their relation to movement and pain relief.


It is a normal curve of the thoracic spine. It describes an excess curvature of the” Dowager’s hump



This is a surgical procedure that removes a portion of the plate that serves as the back of the spinal canal. This procedure is performed for treatment of herniated discs and spinal stenos are.


It is a hormone produced by the small intestine that signals the brain to stop eating.


It is strong, dense bands made of connective tissue that stabilize a joint connecting bone to bone across the joint.


It is a compound of protein that carries fats and fat like substances such as cholesterol in the blood.

Local anesthetics

It is a drug that blocks nerve conduction in the region where it is applied.


It is the curve in the cervical and lumbar spine. An abnormal accentuated arch in the lower back sways back.

Low back pain

It is the pain at the base of the spine that can be caused by several factors.

Low- density Lipoprotein (LDL)

It is a form of cholesterol that circulates in the body. It is also known as” bad” cholesterol and it increases the risk of heart disease.


A general term meaning low back pain (see low back pain)


It is the lower five weight bearing vertebrae that are located between the thoracic vertebrae and sacrum.


Magnetic resonance imaging (MRI)

It is a magnetic radio frequency energy used to see internal structures of the body, including bones and nerves without the use of X-rays. Used in the investigation of spinal abnormalities.


It is the manual movement of the spinal bones or joints to restore normal function.

Massage therapy

This is a general term used to describe bodywork techniques.

Maximum heart rate

This is the rate at which a person’s heart beats per second. A person’s maximum heart rate is based on his/her age.


It is a general term for numerous practices where one focuses awareness on a particular thing such as a breath in order to quiet the mind.


This refers to all the processes that occur in the body that turn the food you eat to energy your body can use.

Moderate-Intensity physical activity

A moderate-intensity physical activity requires sustained, rhythmic movements of an intense enough level to elevate heart rate to 50%-70% of maximum heart rate.

Monounsaturated fat

Monosaturated oil is found in canola oil, olives, nuts and avocadoes .It is used in food and it has low cholesterol.

Muscle Tension

It is a state where muscles are in a general state of contraction.

Muscle Spasms

It IS a sudden violent involuntary contraction of a muscle or a group of muscles


These are soft tissues that provide strength and assist with movement. Spinal muscle support your spine as it bends and flexes.

Myofascial pain

It is referred pain caused by trigger points or hard nodules in muscle tissue.

Myofascial release

This is releasing the fascia by gentle movements.



It is a pain relieving drug related in action and structure to the opiates. It is associated with potential to cause significant alteration of mood after taking it.

Nerve Block

It is a pain relief method in which an anesthetic is injected into a nerve.

Nerve root

It is the nerve projections from the spinal cord.


A physician who specializes in treating diseases affecting the nervous system.

Neuropeptide Y

It is the in the hunger transmitter in the brain. It is signals to the hypothalamus to eat.


This is a physician who specializes in surgery on the brain, nerves and spinal cord.


It is a chemical produced in the brain that sends messages between nerve cells.

Nucleus pulpous

It is a soft center of an intervertebral disc that is made up of gel-like substance.


The relationship of food to the wellbeing of the body.



It is having an excessive amount of body fat.


A fatty acid found in some foods that send a strong signal to the brain to stop eating. It acts as appetite suppressant.


A pain-killing drug chemically related to opium and is also a narcotic.

Orthopedic surgeon

A doctor who specializes in diseases of the musculoskeletal system.


It is a disease that affects the spines’ face joints making it painful to bend or twist. It mainly affects the middle aged and elderly men and women.

Osteopathic medicine

This is the attention paid to muscles, joints, bones and nerves through defined osteopathic manipulations.


A disease characterized by the loss of bone density due to brittleness. It commonly affects the spinal vertebrae, wrists and hips.


It is the overgrowths of bone material that has attributed various ailments. Osteophytes are manufactured by your body in response to a breakdown of existing bone structures.

Overload principle

It is a principle that states that muscles only grow in strength if they are pushed to near maximum effort –overloaded.

Overuse injuries

Injuries that occur during the course of everyday activities such as housework .it’s symptoms include pain and muscle spasms.


It is having too much body fat.



It is a gland that makes enzymes that help the body to break down and use nutrients in food also produces insulin.


A device that counts steps taken and distance walked. It is worn on the waist band or pocket.

Piliformis Syndrome

A condition caused by the Sciatiom of the foot.ttc nerve getting pinched annings it exits the spinal column. It causes pain along the back of the thigh to the knee.

Plantar Fasciitis

It is an inflammation of the ligament running from the front of the heel bone through the bottom of the foot. It is associated with repetitive motions like long distance running.

Phenyl ethanolamine( PEA)

A chemical found in chocolate that elevates mood and causes chocolate cravings.

Physical activity

Any form of exercise or movement. It includes planned activities such as walking or other sports.

Physical fitness

The measure of a person’s ability to perform physical activities requiring endurance and flexibility and is determined by regular activity.

Physical therapy

A health profession that treats pain in muscles, nerves, joints and bones with exercise, electrical stimulation and electric devices.

Polyunsaturated Fat

It is a highly unsaturated fat that is in liquid form at room temperature. Polyunsaturated fats are found in corn, soybean and nuts.


It is one of the nutrients that provide calories to the body. Protein builds many parts of the body such as muscle, bone and blood. It is found in foods like fish, eggs and poultry.


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Recommended Dietary Allowance (RDA)

It is the level of dietary intakes of essential nutrients considered to be sufficient to meet the minimum nutritional needs of healthy individuals.

Relaxation techniques

A natural process of reversing the effects of stress on the body‘s physiology and to reduce anxiety.

Repetitions (“Reps”)

It refers to a single full execution of an exercise movement such as in push-up. The number of repetitions you perform of a particular exercise will determine the benefits of your muscle.


This is a term that encompasses every aspect of what you do in an exercise session such as exercises, and aerobic conditioning. Your routine is also referred as your program.

Rheumatoid Arthritis

A disease that affects the facet joints in spine and other joints in the body such as hands, elbows, shoulders and fingers.

Ruptured Disk

It is a herniated disc where material from the disk pushes through the outer lining of the disk.



A mechanism to tell the body that is has had enough food. The most important satiety compound is hormone leptin.

Saturated fat

A fat that is solid at room temperature. It is found in high-fat dairy products, fatty fresh and processed meat. Eating a diet high in saturated fat raises blood cholesterol and risk of heart disease.

Sciatic Nerve

It is the nerve that serves the legs and originates from several levels of lower back. It sends signals down to the leg to control muscles.


It is an inflammation of the sciatic nerve usually marked by the tenderness along the course of the nerve through the buttocks, thigh and leg.


It is an abnormal curve of the spine.


This is a person involved in little to no leisure-time physical activity.


This is neurotransmitter in the brain that elevates mood and reduces appetite.

This is usually a collection of repetitions that you perform without rest. An example if you do ten repetitions of a bench press then place the bar back on the rack and rest, you have just complete one set.

For training strength, people do three sets of a particular exercise, a one minute repetition and 10-15 repetitions in each set.

Slipped disk

It is a herniated disk where material from the disk pushes through the outer lining of the disk (see Disc Hernia ion).

Spina Bifida:

This is a congenital defect of the spine in which the arches of the lower lumbar spine fail to form over the spinal cord, leaving the cord unprotected.

Spinal Canal

It is an opening at the center of the spine through which the spinal cord runs.

Spinal Cord

It is the root section of the central nervous system going down from the brain through the spinal column where it divides into nerves.

Spinal Column

This is the spine.

Spinal Fracture

It is a broken vertebra in the spine.

Spinal cord

It is the column of the nerve tissue that runs from the brain to the lower back.

Spinal Fusion

It is a process in which the disc and cartilage is removed from between the Vertebrae and bone grafts are placed.

Spinal Stenosis

It is a narrowing of the spinal canal that compresses the spinal cord and the nerve roots, cutting off their impulses to the muscles of the leg.


It is a group of disorders that causes inflammatory arthritis of the spine.


It is an inflammation of the spine generally caused by an infection.


It is a spinal abnormality in which there is an interior displacement of vertebrae on the one below resulting in back pain.

Starvation Metabolism

It is the slowing of the basal energy expenditure caused by chronic underfeeding leading to a reduction in the rate at which the body burns calories and an increase in the rate at which the body attempts to store fat.


It is the narrowing of a portion of the spinal canal, usually because of bony overgrowth.

Strength Training

This is a training that helps you tone muscles and lose fat. It also helps to keep your bones strong which help you avoid bone fractures.


It is the misalignment in the body structures of the spine. It causes pressure or irritatation on the various nerves in your spine. It causes various symptoms in the body such as localized pain, soreness and weakness.



It is a white fibrous band of tissues that attach muscle to bone.

Tennis Elbow

It is also known as lateral epicondylitis,tennis elbow is pain on the lateral or outside part of the elbow or near the bony protrusion.

Therapeutic massage

It is a form of massage that involves the manipulation of the soft tissues of the body to decrease muscle spasm, pain and to improve movement.

Thoracic spine

It is twelve vertebrae above the lumbar spine and below the cervical spine.

Thyroid hormone

It is a hormone released by the thyroid gland that stimulates metabolism and helps to regulate a range of biochemical processes in the body.


It is a decreasing effect of a drug with the same dose or the need to increase the dose to maintain the same effect.


It is a drug used to treat anxiety.

Trigger points

It is a small area of a muscle that is lightly knotted and in spasm causing referred pain.


Underwater weighing

It is a research method for estimating body fat. A person is placed in a tank, underwater and weighed.

Unsaturated Fat

It is a fat that is in liquid form. Unsaturated fats include polyunsaturated and monounsaturated fats.



It is 24 cylindrical segments of bone that make up the vertebral column.

Vertebral Column

It is a flexible structure that forms the “backbone” of the Skelton. It is an arranged in a short line from the base of the skull to the tailbone called spine.

Vertebral Subluxation Complex

It is another term for Subluxation that is used in the Chiropractic profession.

Vigorous –intensity physical Activity

For a physical activity to be classified as vigorous, it requires sustained rhythmic movement of an intense enough level to elevate heart rate to 70%-80% of maximum heart rate.


Waist Circumference

It is a measurement of the waist. Fat around the waist increases the risk of obesity-related health problems.

Weight Control

This is the act of achieving and maintaining a healthy weight by eating well and getting regular physical activity.


This is the process of losing and gaining frequently. With each cycle, there is a worsening of the percentage of body fat due to a loss of lean muscle tissue.


It is injury to the cervical spine that occurs from rapid hyper-flexion and compression movements like in auto mobile accidents

Wrist circumference

It is a measurement of the wrist at its thinnest point that is close to the hand. It is used to estimate the size of an individual’s skeletal structure.



This is a diagnostic imaging method that exposes photographic films with radiations passed through the body. It is useful in diagnosing fractures, dislocations and other structural problems in bone.



This is a gentle exercise system that consists of numerous stretching movements that are helpful healing.