A B C D E F G H I K L M O P Q R S T U V W Z

Abduction

A movement of a limb away from midline or the center of the body

Adduction

A movement of a limb toward midline or the center of the body

Ataxia

Muscular incoordination especially manifested when voluntary muscular movements are attempted

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Base of support

The weight-bearing surface of the body. For example: in standing = the feet

Bilateral

Pertaining to two sides of the body, as in: both arms or both legs

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Calcaneal Valgum

Angling of the heel of the foot outward, thereby flattening the arch of the foot

Calcaneal Varum

Angling of the heel of the foot inward, thereby increasing or heightening the arch of the foot

Cervical

Pertaining to the neck

Core

Pertaining to the trunk (primarily abdominals and back)

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Dissociation

To separate. For example: one extremity/limb performs a movement without the other extremity doing the same or similar movement at the same time

Distal

Farthest from the center, from midline or from the trunk

Dynamic

Pertaining to vital forces or inherent power; refers to the body in motion; opposite of stationary

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Extension

A straightening or backward movement of the spine or limbs

External rotation

An outward turning of the limb away from the body

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Flexion

A bending or forward movement of the spine or limbs

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Genu Valgum

Angling of the knees inward as in “knock kneed”

Genu Varum

Angling of the knees outward as in “bow legged”

Gross Motor

Refers to movement of large muscle groups

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Hamstrings

A muscle group on the back of the thigh that can bend/flex the knee and straighten/extend the hip

Hyperextension

Excessive movement in the direction of extension

Hypermobility

Movement beyond normal range of motion

Hypertonic

Muscle tone higher than normal; resistance to passive movement; in extreme form = spasticity

Hypotonic

Less than normal tone; floppy

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Internal rotation

An inward turning of the limb toward the body

Instability

Lack of firmness in weight-bearing. Difficulty maintaining weight bearing

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Kinesthesia

Conscious awareness (perception) of body movement (direction and speed), detected by joints

Kyphosis

An increased convexity in the curvature of the thoracic spine (hunchback)

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Long-sitting

Sitting with legs straight out in front

Lordosis

An anterior/forward curvature of the lumbar and cervical vertebrae (spine). An increase is often referred to as “sway-back”

Lumbar

Pertaining to the low back

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Midline

The theoretical lines that divide the body into two equal halves vertically or horizontally

Motor Control

The ability of the Central Nervous System to regulate or direct the musculoskeletal system in a purposeful act

Motor Planning

The ability to organize and perform movement in a meaningful manner

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Obliquity

A slanting

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Pes Planus

Flat feet

Prone

Lying on the belly, face down

Proprioception

The awareness of posture, movement, changes in equilibrium, and the knowledge of position, weight, and resistance of objects in relation to the body. Sensed by muscles, tendons, and soft tissue

Proximal

Nearest to the point of attachment or center of the body

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Quadriceps

A large muscle group on the anterior/front surface of the thigh responsible for knee extension

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Range of Motion

A measure of the amount of movement/motion available at any given joint of the body

Recurvatum

A backward bending, frequently referring to the knees

Reflex

An involuntary/automatic response to a stimulus

Ring Sitting

Sitting on the buttocks with legs forming a ring in front (not crossed)

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Sacral

The triangular-shaped bone below the lumbar spine formed, typically, by the fusion of 5 vertebrae

Side-sitting

Sitting on one hip with legs flexed to the opposite side

Spasticity

Hypertension of muscles causing stiff and awkward movements

Static

At rest; in equilibrium; not in motion

Supine

Lying on the back, face up

Symmetrical

Referring to symmetry of the body, whose right and left halves are mirror images of each other

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Tactile Defensiveness

A negative response or increased sensitivity to touch

Tailor-sitting

Buttocks on the floor with legs flexed and crossed (“pretzel sitting”)

Thoracic

Pertaining to or affecting the chest or upper back

Tone (muscle)

The degree of tension normally present in the resting state of a muscle

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Unilateral

Affecting or occurring on only one side of the body

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Vestibular Stimulation

Stimulation of the vestibular apparatus (bones of the inner ear and canals) that provides information regarding acceleration and the position of the body in space

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Weight shift

Translation or movement of body weight from one side to another, forward or back

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Zone of Apposition

A term for the area of the diaphram that directly opposes the ribcage.