APPENDIX III – Index/Glossary of Technical Terms

1 Abrasion Superficial damage to the skin
2 Acromioclavicular joint dysfunction An injury to the joint that connects the shoulder blade to the collarbone
3 Active movement Joint range of motion by the person alone
4 Active rehabilitation Supervised exercise program that addresses injury via progressively monitored exercises including targeting of postural imbalances, core instability and muscle weakness designed to avoid aggravating symptoms and restore pre-injury function
5 Allodynia Pain experienced from a non-painful stimulus
6 Axial spine The part of the human skeleton that consists of the vertebral column or the neck and backbone
7 Bowstring’s sign Special test used to evaluate for lumbosacral nerve root irritation
8 Bursitis Inflammation of one or more bursae (fluid filled sacs that cushion bones, tendons and muscles near joints)
9 Cerebellar deficits Objective signs of dysfunction of the cerebellum including ataxia (unsteadiness or incoordination of limbs, posture and/or gait), inability to perform rapid alternating movements and disordered control of the force and timing of movements leading to abnormalities of speed, range, rhythm, starting and stopping
10 Cervicogenic Emanating from the neck
11 Cervical spine Neck; comprised of 7 vertebral segments labelled C1 through C7
12 Central sensitization A state in which decreased production of pain-inhibiting neurotransmitters and/or increased production of pain-augmenting pathways results in amplification of central nervous system sensory stimuli such as pain, touch, smell, sound and/or light. Over time, this increased sensory input causes structural changes to the central nervous system wherein the region of the spinal column that receives pain stimuli enlarges and the parts of the brain that perceive and process pain become increasingly active. Consequently, painful areas expand beyond the original territories of injury and pain can be experienced with little or no noxious stimuli.
13 Chronic myofascial pain A form of chronic pain that emanates from muscle and the overlying fascial structures and is local, contiguous and/or regional with the area of injury. The pain persists long after the clinical resolution of the injury, is characterized by objective abnormal findings (increased muscle tone, muscle stiffness, spasms, taut bands and trigger points) detected by digital pressure during examination by the clinician and heralds a sensitized state in which the pain itself is the impairment.
14 Chronic pain Pain lasting more than 6 months
15 Chronic pain syndrome Chronic pain complicated by psychological and/or socioeconomic concerns
16 Complex regional pain syndrome A form of chronic pain that usually affects an arm or a leg where the pain is out of proportion to the severity of the initial injury and is associated with swelling, limited range of motion and changes to the colour and temperature of the skin
17 Concussion See mild traumatic brain injury
18 Contusion Injury from a blow causing bruising
19 Cranial nerves II-XII The set of paired nerves that emanate directly from either side of the brain; there are 12 such pairs, conventionally labelled by Roman numerals; physical examination typically do not include assessment of the first cranial nerve
20 Crepitus Grating sound and sensation indicative of an abnormal rubbing of joints
21 Dermatomal distributions Sensation in a pattern or area supplied by a single spinal nerve
22 Edema Swelling or puffiness of parts of the body
23 Effusion Excess fluid accumulation in or around a joint
24 FABER Special test used to evaluate for hip labral tear or sacroiliac joint dysfunction. FABER = Flexion, ABduction and External Rotation of the hip
25 Facetogenic pain Pain that emanates from the facet joints that form an articulation between two adjacent vertebrae in the spinal column.
26 FADIR Special test used to evaluate for hip labral tear or piriformis syndrome. FADIR = Flexion, ADduction and Internal Rotation of the hip
27 Fibromyalgia Widespread musculoskeletal pain accompanied by fatigue, disordered sleep, cognitive symptoms and myriad other non-specific symptoms
28 Focal muscular atrophy Muscle wasting localized to one particular site in the body
29 Hyperalgesia Abnormally heightened sensitivity to pain
30 Impingement Syndrome Compression of the shoulder rotator cuff or hip muscles and/or bursa causing pain and movement problems
31 Internal derangement Internal damage of a joint caused by trauma or degeneration
32 Joint crepitus Grinding, cracking, grating, crunching or popping sounds that occur when moving a joint
33 Joint dysfunction Aberrant motion of a joint
34 Joint instability Insufficiently supported joint no longer held in proper place by ligaments, tendons and muscles
35 Joint laxity Excessive joint movement
36 Kemp’s test Special test to evaluate for facetogenic pain
37 Kinesiophobia Fear of movement, usually when a person believes movement can cause more injury
38 Labrum Ring of cartilage attached to the outside rim of the socket of the shoulder or hip joint
39 Leg length discrepancy Difference between the length of the legs
40 Lesser occipital and greater occipital neuralgia Irritation of nerves of spinal origin that traverse the space between the occiput (i.e. back of the head) and the scalp causing posterior headaches that radiate toward one eye
41 Levator scapulae muscles Muscles situated at the back and side of the neck that inserts onto the inner part of the scapula and primarily functions to elevate the shoulder blades
42 Ligament Fibrous band of tissue that connects two bones or cartilage and holds together a joint
43 Lumbar spine Lower back; comprised of 5 vertebral segments labelled L1 through L5
44 Mechanical pain Neck, back or joint pain that is linked with movement
45 Meniscus Fibrocartilaginous structure that cushions various joints, notably the knee
46 Mobility transfers Movement of the body or body parts from one position to another, i.e. in/out of bed, bath or car, on/off toilet, sit/stand
47 Morton’s neuroma Inflammation of the nerves between the toes
48 Muscle atrophy Muscle wasting
49 Muscle spasms Involuntary muscle contractions
50 Muscle stiffness The degree of tightness noted in muscle fibers
51 Muscle tone The degree of tension noted in muscle fibers
52 Myofascia The muscles (myo) and surrounding tissue (fascia)
53 Myofascial release A form of manual therapy that treats muscle immobility and pain by relaxing contracted muscles and improving circulation to enhance the stretch reflexes in muscles
54 Myotomal distributions Muscle strength in a pattern or area supplied by a single spinal nerve
55 Nerve root tension Abnormal increase in tension of spinal nerves when they become caught or restricted anywhere along their path manifesting as pain, weakness or sensory disturbance
56 Neuropathic pain Pain caused by damage, disease or injury to nerve fibers
57 Normal biomechanical gait pattern A normal manner of walking
58 Normal body habitus Normal physique or body build
59 Pain An unpleasant sensory and emotional experience associated with actual or potential tissue damage, or described in terms of such damage
60 Pain behaviour Behaviours that overtly demonstrate to others how much pain one is in, including limping, rubbing painful spots, guarding, and vocalizations (sighing, moaning or groaning).
61 Palpation Examination with the hands to examine the body
62 Paraspinal muscles The muscles that run next to the cervical, thoracic and lumbar spines to support the spinal column, support movements of the vertebrae and coordinate movements with the rest of the body
63 Pathognomonic Specifically characteristic or indicative of a particular disease or condition
64 Passive modalities/treatment A treatment not requiring active participation and one that is given to the person by the treating therapist
65 Passive movement Joint range of motion with no effort from the person
66 Pelvic obliquity Misalignment of the pelvis
67 Peripheral nerve Nerve outside the brain and spinal cord
68 Phase 3 Research Evaluating Migraine Prophylaxis (PREEMPT) An injection protocol explaining the approved injection sites and dosages for Botox injections for chronic migraine prevention
69 Piriformis syndrome Compression of the sciatic nerve by a tight piriformis muscle causing buttock pain and/or referred pain radiating down the back of the thigh/leg
70 Plantar fascia Band of tissue connecting the heel bone to the toes
71 Posterior auricular nerve Nerve supplying the muscles behind the ear
72 Prolonged post-concussive symptoms Persistent, physical, cognitive and emotional symptoms that persist after a traumatic brain injury
73 Pronator drift A pathological sign indicative of neurological injury where the outstretched arm(s) with palms facing upward drift when the eyes are closed
74 Quadratus lumborum muscles Muscles of the posterior abdominal wall that originate from the pelvis, insert onto the lower back and the last rib and primarily function to assist with movements of the lumbar spine and elevate the pelvis
75 Radiculitis Chemical or mechanical inflammation and irritation of a spinal nerve root causing radiating pain in the distribution of the nerve root
76 Radiculopathy Spinal nerve root dysfunction causing radiating pain, numbness, weakness and/or impaired deep tendon reflexes in the distribution of the nerve root
77 Radiofrequency ablation A procedure used to reduce pain where an electric current produced by a radio wave is used to heat up nerve tissue to decrease pain signals
78 Radiofrequency rhizotomy Radiofrequency ablation applied to spinal nerves that innervate the facet joints
79 Range of motion The full movement potential of a joint
80 Revised Oswestry Low Back Pain and Disability Questionnaire Standardized and validated questionnaire to evaluate functional outcomes in patients with low back pain; the original version was updated to create the revised version
81 Romberg testing A test of balance
82 Rotator cuff A group of four muscles (supraspinatus, infraspinatus, teres minor, subscapularis) and their respective tendons that surround and stabilize the shoulder
83 Rotator cuff pathology Any type of injury to the rotator cuff muscles and/or tendons including tendinitis, sprains, strains or tears
84 Sacroiliac joint pathology (open book, compression, Gaenslen’s, FABER) Too much (hypermobility) or too little (hypomobility) mobility of the sacroiliac joint which can be a source of low back/buttock pain
85 Scalene muscles A group of three pairs of muscles in the side of the neck that primarily function to elevate the first rib and bend the neck to the same side
86 Scapular winging Protrusion of the shoulder blade from a person’s back
87 Soft tissue injury Damage of the muscles, ligaments and tendons
88 Spinal nerves Nerves that exit the spinal cord at the different vertebral levels that carry information to and from the axial spine and extremities; 8 cervical spinal nerves (labelled C1 through C8), 12 thoracic spinal nerves (labelled T1 through T12) and 5 lumbar spinal nerves (labelled L1 through L5)
89 Splenius capitus/cervicis muscles Deep muscles located close to the midline of the cervical spine that support movements of the neck
90 Sprain Stretching or tearing of one or more ligaments often caused by trauma or the joint being taken beyond its functional range of motion
91 Sternocleidomastoid muscles Large and superficial muscles of the side of the neck that primarily functions to rotate the head to the opposite side
92 Strain Stretching or tearing of muscles and/or tendons caused by overstretch, excessive pressure or overuse
93 Suboccipital Muscles located below the base of the skull that support the cervical spinal column
94 Tandem gait pattern Heel to toe walking to evaluate balance


95 Taut bands Contracted bands of muscle fibers


Tendinitis/tendonitis Inflammation or irritation of a tendon
97 Tendon Fibrous band of tissue that connects muscles to bones
98 Thoracic multifidus muscles Muscles that run next to the thoracic spine to support the thoracic spinal column, support movements of the vertebrae and coordinate movements with the rest of the body
99 Thoracic spine Upper and mid back; comprised of 12 vertebral segments labelled T1 through T12
100 Tinel’s sign Light tapping over peripheral nerves to test for a sensation of paraesthesia (i.e. pins and needles) in the distribution of the nerve indicative of an irritated nerve
101 Topical medication A medication that is applied directly to a part of the body


Traumatic brain injury A disruption in the normal function of the brain that can be caused by a bump, blow, or jolt to the head or a penetrating head injury
Mild traumatic brain injury A history of head trauma with any one of the following:

·         Loss of consciousness for up to 30 minutes

·         Alteration of consciousness for less than 24 hours

·         Post-traumatic amnesia for less than 24 hours

·         Glasgow Coma Scale score of 13-15 at 30 minutes after the injury

“Complicated” mild traumatic brain injury A mild traumatic brain injury with findings of structural brain damage on neuroimaging
Moderate traumatic brain injury A history of head trauma with any one of the following:

·         Loss of consciousness for 30 minutes to 24 hours

·         Alteration of consciousness/post-traumatic amnesia for 24 hours to 7 days

·         Glasgow Coma Scale score of 9-12 at 30 minutes after the injury

Severe traumatic brain injury A history of head trauma with any one of the following:

·         Loss of consciousness for greater than 24 hours

·         Alteration of consciousness/post-traumatic amnesia greater than 7 days

·         Glasgow Coma Scale score of less than 9

103 Trendelenburg sign Sign of weak or paralyzed hip muscles
104 Triangular fibrocartilage complex Ligamentous and cartilaginous structure found in the wrist that cushions and stabilizes the joint
105 Trigger finger Catching, snapping or locking of the finger
106 Trigger points Discrete tender nodules (i.e. knots) found in muscle fibers
107 Upper fibers of the gluteus maximus muscles Muscle of the buttock that supports the lumbar spine and helps coordinate movements of the lower back and hips
108 Upper fibers of the trapezius muscles Muscles extending from the base of the skull to the neck, upper back and shoulders that support the cervical and thoracic spines and helps coordinate movements of the shoulder blades
109 Upper motor neuron signs Objective signs of damage to the descending motor pathways transmitted from the brain and/or spinal cord
110 Varicosities Swollen and tortuous veins
111 Whiplash An acceleration-deceleration mechanism where the head and neck are suddenly forced backward and then forward from a rapid jolt or jerk
112 Whiplash Associated Disorder (WAD) A collection of symptoms resulting from injury to the cervical spine structures (joints, ligaments, muscles, nerves, tendons) following a whiplash