EXPLANATIONS OF TECHNICAL TERMS

ABDOMEN, ABDOMINAL

Our front and sides, from the ribs to groin and hip bones.

ALEXANDER TECHNIQUE

Training to re-educate our problem habits of posture and movement, originally devised to help voice production but applicable to lots of physical and emotional problems.

ANKYLOSING SPONDYLITIS

An inflammatory disease which starts in adolescence and progressively stiffens up the spine. For more detail, go to arthritis-treatment-and-relief.com.

BISPHOSPHONATES

Our bone is a living, continually changing tissue. This class of drugs renders bone inert, as though petrified. The effect is permanent.

They have toxic effects and do not address the cause of osteoporosis. There are effective alternative strategies.

If you elect to take them, it is only needed for 3 to 5 years, not permanently.

CERVICAL SPONDYLOSIS

Partially worn out neck - but it doesn't have to be painful!

CHRONIC

Long standing, present for a long time (usually at least months.) Nothing to do with severity.

DEGENERATIVE DISC DISEASE

I think this unpleasant term is based on the idea of things wearing out from advancing age - mostly a wrong headed idea. Passage of time alone, is pretty benign. It's what happens over the course of time that matters.

DISC

The tough gristle between the bones of our back, attached firmly to the bones. They allow bending and twisting of our spine.

DIVERTICULITIS

Infection around a little hernia on the wall of the large bowel.

These little pockets or blow-outs, go through the weak areas where blood vessels pierce the muscle of the bowel. They are caused by excessive pressure from constipation.

DUODENUM

First part of small bowel, immediately following your stomach. Here the bile and pancreatic juice joins in digesting your food.
ECHO

Obtaining pictures (of your heart) from high frequency sound waves bouncing back to a hand held emitter applied to your chest, or fed down your gullet.

EKG ( ECG )

Recording of the electricity produced by your heart muscle contracting and relaxing, amplified and printed on graph paper.

ENDOMETRIOSIS

The lining of the womb has passed up the Fallopian tube and continues to grow and bleed each month, in places it shouldn't be.

FOLIC ACID

Vitamin B9, found in your veggies.

HIATUS HERNIA (MORE CORRECTLY HIATAL HERNIA)

The stomach bulged up into the chest, where the gullet has come through the diaphragm muscle.

IMPAIRED GLUCOSE TOLERANCE

After swallowing a dose of glucose sugar, your blood sugar level rises too high because the sugar can't get into muscles as readily, due to insulin resistance.

INSULIN RESISTANCE

Your insulin not working adequately, despite (usually) plenty of it available. Many mechanisms for this, including deficiency of chromium or vanadium, overweight and lack of exercise.

IRRITABLE BOWEL SYNDROME

A syndrome is a collection of complaints that happen together more than just by chance, suggesting a common cause.

Irritable bowel refers to irregular bowel habit, plus discomfort or pain in our abdomen associated with it, plus bloating and gurgling.

Some or all of these complaints, with nothing to find to explain them, (but see the page on this.)

ISCHAEMIC (ISCHEMIC) HEART DISEASE

Your heart muscle damaged by insufficient blood supply, from narrowed coronary arteries.

NOCICEPTIVE

Producing the experience of pain. Refers to the whole nervous system mechanism for producing pain - from our nerve ends to the top of our brain.

OSTEOPATHIC LESION

A stuck or hitched posterior joint in our spine. See pages on upper back for details.

OSTEOPOROSIS

Less bone substance in your bones,and more bone marrow, so the bones are not as strong. Usually defined by the mineral content being lower, on testing with special X-ray (DEXA scan.)

PALPITATIONS

When you can feel your own heart beating in your chest, because it is going faster, harder or irregularly.

PARKINSONS DISEASE

The shaking palsy, a very slowly progressive disorder of our brain.People affected lose their free movement, as in swinging arms and walking with a long stride. Their face loses the play of expression. limbs become stiff and painful. Medical treatment can delay the slow worsening, but look at early naturopathic treatment as well.

PELVIC GIRDLE

Our hip bones, joined at the front and back to form a circle (hence girdle.)

PERIODICITY OF DUODENAL ULCER SYMPTOMS

When periods of ulcer distress alternating with symptom-free periods that last for several weeks or months.

POSTERIOR JOINT

Our Z (for zygapophyseal) joints are typical synovial joints, with gristle over each bone and lubricating liquid between. There are two at each level of our spine. They help keep the spine stable.

POTASSIUM

One of the metal elements, the main one inside our cells. It is dangerous to run short of it, as in prolonged vomiting and use of some drugs.

PROTON PUMP INHIBITOR

A class of drugs which stop acid production in our stomach.

REACTIVE HYPOGLYCEMIA

Abnormally low blood sugar after eating or drinking something.

SPASMODIC DYSMENORRHOEA

Cramping pain in lower abdomen with menses. Common but shouldn't happen ideally.

SPONDYLOLISTHESIS

A spinal bone has slipped forward on the one below, either because of a broken bone or because the posterior joints are decaying away. This sounds bad but usually is only a small slip and not a problem.

STATINS

This class of drugs was introduced and still is advertised as cholesterol lowering agents. They have a lot of other potentially helpful effects, which may be more important. Long term use of drugs is potentially dangerous and mostly not of proven benefit. The evidence of benefit quoted is usually from trials of relatively short duration ( such as 5 years or less.)

TIETZE SYNDROME

Painful swollen cartilages at the front of the chest, with inflammation present. This must be pretty uncommon. I've never seen it.

TORSION OF THE TESTIS

Our testis is usually unable to spin around, being stuck to the back of its' sac. Sometimes it isn't, and can do just that and strangle itself - causing severe pain in the process.

This is a surgical emergency, needing quick action.

VASCULAR, AS IN CARDIO-VASCULAR SYSTEM OR VASCULAR HEADACHE

To do with blood vessels (arteries, veins, capillaries.) Vascular headache comes from arteries.

VITAMIN B12

Essential for blood formation and brain function, only found in foods of animal origin.



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