Here is a Glossary of some terms you may hear your Chiropractor use or you may have read about on our website. If you have any questions not answered here please do not hesitate to contact us via the contact from on the booking page.

Acute
Usually very painful, but of short duration.

Activator
An instrument used by chiropractors to adjust vertebrae using very low force.

Adjustment
The use of pressure on a specific vertebra or other articulation to help restore normal function.

Anterior
Towards the front of the body.

Arthritis
Inflammatory disorder of a joint.

Atlas
Top vertebra in the spinal column, known as C1.

Axis
Second vertebra from the top, C2.

Bone spur
A bony outgrowth from a vertebra also called an osteophyte.

Cervical
The seven vertebrae in the neck.

Cervicogenic
Problem such as a headache caused by malfunction of the cervical spine.

Chronic
Lasting a long time, often months or more.

Coccyx
Tail end of the spine at the base of the sacrum.

Compensation reaction
A secondary problem that results from the bodies attempt to compensate for a problem elsewhere.

Core stability
Stability of the spinal column and pelvic area, due to strong well balanced deep core muscles around the spine.

Dermatome
Area of skin supplied by a single spinal nerve.

Disc
Cartilage pad that separates the vertebrae, or absorbing the shock, allowing flexibility and protecting the nervous system. A disc can bulge or rupture but cannot 'slip'.

Erector Spinae
Large muscle of the back used to pull the body into an erect position and correct forward bending.

Extremity
Lower or upper limbs, i.e. arm or leg.

Facet Joint
Joints either side of the vertebral column that often become fixed and need a chiropractic adjustment to move again.

Fixation
Being held in a fixed position, with restricted movement.

Foramen
A passageway or opening on a bone for blood vessels or nerves.

Herniation
A protrusion of an organ or part through the wall that normally contains it.

Hypermobility
Too much movement.

Hypomobility
Restricted movement.

Ileum
One of the bones that form the pelvis, (hip bone).

Inflammation
A reaction of an area due to injury or irritation resulting in discomfort, swelling and temperature rise.

Intervertebral Foramen
A space between each vertebra through which a nerve exits from the spinal cord. Also known as the IVF.

Kyphosis
A backward curve of the spine, as found in the normal thoracic spine.

Lateral
Side view of the body.

Ligament
Tough fibrous tissue that connects bones to bones.

Lordosis
Forward curve of the spine, such is found in the cervical and lumbar areas.

Lumbar
The 5 vertebrae of the low back.

Lumbosacral
Joint between the spine and the pelvis.

Maintenance Care
Periodic spinal adjustments to help maintain the patients health.

Mobilization
A method of increasing the range of movement of a joint.

Motion Palpation
Method of locating mechanical dysfunction of the spine.

Multifidus
Core, deep muscles attached to each vertebra, often weak in people with chronic back pain.

Musculoskeletal
Referring to structures involving tendons, muscles, ligaments and joints.

Nerve Root
The nerve that emerges from the spinal cord and exits between each vertebra.

Neurological Tests
Specific test to determine nerve function.

Nucleus Pulposus
The jelly like centre of a spinal disc.

Occipital
Relating to lower back portion of the skull which rests on the spinal column.

Orthopaedic Tests
Specific test to determine joint function.

Palpation
Examination of an area by hand.

Piriformis Muscle
Muscle deep in the buttock that can irritate the sciatic nerve.

Posterior
Towards the back of the body.

Range of Motion or ROM
The range through which a joint can move.

Referred Pain
Pain felt in one part of the body, due to nerve irritation elsewhere, usually near the spine.

Reflex
An involuntary action resulting in a stimulus.

Sacroiliac
The two joints in the pelvis connecting the ileum (hip) to the sacrum.

Sacrum
Triangular bone in the middle of the pelvis at the base of the spine.

Sciatica
Pain radiating from low back, across buttock, down back of leg caused by irritation of the sciatic nerve. The largest nerve in the body.

Scoliosis
Sideways curvature of the spine.

Slipped Disc
Incorrect name given to a disc which has bulged or ruptured.

Subluxation
Term used by Chiropractors to describe a malfunction or misalignment of the spine, affecting the nervous system and it's ability to control the organs and tissues of the body.

Surface Electromyography or SEMG
Aprocedure to measure electrical activity in muscles, using electrodes attached to the skin.

Tendon
Fibrous tissue that connects muscles to bone.

Thoracic
The 12 vertebrae to which the ribs are attached.

Torticollis
A painful state of the neck, with inflammation and muscle spasm resulting in loss of movement.

Transverse Process
A sideways protrusion of each vertebra to which muscles and ligaments attach.

Vertebra
An individual bone of the spinal column. (Plural: Vertebrae).

Vertebral Artery
Artery that thread through holes in the 6 upper cervical vertebrae.