Glossary of Terms

 

Abduction

Movement of your arm or leg away from the midline (most often connected to the hip/shoulder)

Adduction

Movement of your arm or leg towards the midline (most often connected to the hip/shoulder)

Bilateral

Both arms or legs

Biomechanics

The study of movement of a living body, including how muscles, bones, tendons, and ligaments work together to produce movement.

Cervical

Relating to the neck. The natural curve of the cervical spine is lordosis.

Extension

A physical movement that increases the angle between the bones of the arm or leg at a given joint. In the spine, extension increases the angle between joints on the front of the body.

External Rotation

Used to describe movement at the hip when you move along the long axis of the leg to create toe out. Also used to describe movement at the shoulder when you move along the long axis of the arm to create palms facing out in front of the body. Can also be known as lateral rotation.

Flexion

Flexion refers to a movement that decreases the angle between two body parts. In the spine, flexion decreases the angle between joints on the front of the body.

Frontal Plane

Cuts the body into front and back halves. Frontal plane movements are side-to-side movements.

Functional

Activity designed to be practical and useful rather than serving only a physical aesthetic.

Internal Rotation

Used to describe movement at the hip when you move along the long axis of the leg to create toe in. Also used to describe movement at the shoulder when you move along the long axis of the arm to create palms facing the back of the body. It is also known as medial rotation.

Lumbar

Pertaining to the low back. The natural curve of the lumbar spine is lordosis.

Midline

An imaginary line down the middle of the body that splits the body into equal left and right parts.

Motor Control

The regulation of movement in organisms that possess a nervous system.

Neutral Spine

This is the natural position of the spine when all three curves of the spine — cervical (neck), thoracic (middle) and lumbar (lower) — are present and in good alignment. Neutral spine is the safest and strongest position for the spine when we are standing, sitting, moving, and exercising.

Orthopedics

The branch of medicine concerned with the correction or prevention of deformities, disorders, or injuries of the skeleton and associated structures (such as tendons and ligaments).

Prone

Lying face down.

Sacral

Relating to the sacrum which is the keystone-shaped fused-spinal segment below the lumbar (low back).

Sagittal Plane

The sagittal plane is an anatomical plane which divides the body into right and left parts.

Supine

Lying facing up.

Thoracic

Relating to the mid-back (thoracic spine). The natural curve of the thoracic spine is slight kyphosis.

Unilateral

Single arm or leg.