Read our glossary of health and wellness terms to prepare for your visit to our Brampton clinic.

Physiotherapy Terms

Bursitis – inflammation of a bursa (a normally-present fluid-filled sac that facilitates motion between a tendon and a bone); when inflamed the bursa can become swelled with an increased amount of fluid

Cartilage – a tough, elastic tissue found in joints of the body; helps to cushion joints as they move

Impingement (of shoulder) – a narrowing of a space through which a nerve runs around the shoulder joint. The narrowed space results in bone pinching on the underlying nerves creating irritation and pain

Initial Assessment (IA) – time spent with a Registered Physiotherapist (RPT) on your first visit to discuss your injury or condition. A thorough assessment of your injury or condition is conducted and may include testing of your range of motion and strength of the body part of concern. History taking is vital to the IA. A lot of talking and paperwork is completed during this time as well. Typically time with the RPT ranges between 45 and 60 min on your first visit.

Interferential Current (IFC) – the use of a mid-frequency electrical signal to treat muscle spasms, muscle strains, and joint pain. Typically uses four adhesive or carbon pads which are placed surrounding the area to be treated in an “X” fashion so that current running in the two directions intersects in the middle over the area of the pain.

Kinesiologist (Certified) – a certified professional who has completed a university degree studying human kinetics, anatomy, and movement. Assistant to the physiotherapist in developing and implementing exercise programs as well as assisting in treatment of patients.

Ligament – A band of tissue that connects one bone to another bone; this type of tissue has very little blood supply

Magnetic Resonance Imaging (MRI) – a procedure employing a scanner which encircles the body in order to obtain detailed sectional images of internal structures. Helps in diagnosing injury and damage to soft tissue areas. Performed in hospitals.

Meniscus (pl. menisci) – cartilage between the articulating bones of a joint that serves to provide cushioning to the joint as it moves; purpose it to prevent bone-on-bone contact

Modalities – therapeutic agents used in treating pain, inflammation, swelling, etc. Examples are ultrasound and IFC.

Physiotherapy – the treatment and management of injury, disability, and malfunction, through the therapeutic use of physical agents such as exercise, hydrotherapy, manual therapy, and modalities, without the direct use of medicines or surgery

Range of Motion (ROM) – the amount of available movement at a joint

Rotator Cuff – group of four muscles around the shoulder joint that are collectively responsible for movement and rotation of the shoulder

Tendon – a cord-like band of tough, inelastic tissue that connects muscle to bone

Tendonitis – inflammation of a tendon, typically due to repetitive overuse

Transcutaneous Electrical Nerve Stimulation (TENS) – the use of electrical current to stimulate the nerves and treat pain through therapeutic purposes

Ultrasound (diagnostic) – the use of sound waves applied over a gel on a person’s body in order to gain images of one’s joints or internal structures for diagnostic purposes; not painful. Imaging is portrayed on a screen. Performed at hospitals and imaging clinics. Different from therapeutic ultrasound.

Ultrasound (therapeutic) – the use of sound waves applied over a gel on a person’s body to create a deep heat treatment of the joint; not painful. Performed at physiotherapy clinics. Different from diagnostic ultrasound.

Zerona Laser Fat Loss Terms

Zerona – Zerona is a low-level laser device developed by Erchonia Corp. for non-invasive body slimming of the waist, hips, and thighs.

Adipocyte -This is a cell in the body that specializes in storing fat for energy.

Interstitial space – This refers to the tissue space between cells in the body.

Low level laser – Low level laser therapy (LLLT) represents a division of photomedicine utilizing defined parameters of laser light for the treatment of a specific medical ailment.

Intentional weight or fat loss – Intentional weight loss refers to the loss of total body mass as a result of efforts to improve fitness and health, and/or to change one’s appearance.

Unintentional weight loss – Unintentional weight loss may be a result of loss of fat, muscle atrophy, fluid loss or a combination of these.

Weight loss – Weight loss occurs when the body is expending more energy , than it is consuming. It will use stored energy reserves from fat or muscle, gradually leading to weight loss.

Crash dieting – A crash diet refers to willful nutritional restriction (except water) for more than 12 waking hours. The desired result is to have the body burn fat for energy with the goal of losing a significant amount of weight in a short time.

Hydration – The degree or extent to which the body has adequate amounts of fluid for the cells. For optimal functioning of cells and their processes, adequate hydration is necessary.

Lymphatic system – The lymphatic system is a network of organs, lymph nodes, lymph ducts, and lymph vessels that make and move lymph from tissues to the bloodstream. The lymphatic system is a major part of the body’s immune system.

Lymph- Lymph is a clear-to-white fluid composed predominately of white blood cells.

Lymph nodes – Lymph nodes are soft, small, round- or bean-shaped structures. They usually cannot be seen or easily felt. They are located in clusters in various parts of the body, such as the neck, armpit, groin, and inside the center of the chest and abdomen.

Body mass composition – In physical fitness, body composition is used to describe the percentages of fat, bone and muscle in the human body. Muscular tissue takes up less space in our body than fat tissue, therefore our body composition, as well as our weight, determines leanness. Two people of equal height and body weight may look completely different from each other because they have a different body composition.

FDA – The Food and Drug Administration (FDA or USFDA) is an agency of the United States Department of Health and Human Services, one of the United States federal executive departments. The FDA is responsible for protecting and promoting public health through the regulation and supervision.

Non –invasive – This type of procedure or technique does not involve puncturing the skin or entering a body cavity.

Active Care/Personal Training Terms

Active Care Specialist – A health practitioner who specializes in the mechanics of body movement including strength and conditioning, rehabilitation and exercise. He or she may work collaboratively with other health practitioners such as Physiotherapists, Kinesiologists and Physical Therapy Assistants (PTA) to create and support exercise plans of care for rehabilitative or health promotion goals.

Personal Trainer – A professional fitness expert who works with clients to create and instruct a customized exercise program. They motivate clients by setting goals and providing feedback and accountability to clients. Trainers also measure their client’s strengths and weaknesses with fitness assessments.

Fitness – The state of being physically fit and healthy.

Exercise – Activity that requires physical effort to carry out, usually with the goal of improving or sustaining health and fitness.

Function – Work or operate in a proper or particular way.

Adaptation – Adjusting to a specific activity, exercise, or environment.

Phases – The stages and steps of development in a particular task.

Stretching – The lengthening of muscles for relaxation

Strength – A source of power or force.

Endurance – The duration of partaking in continuous exercise.

Flexibility –The ability to be able to move a joint through a full range of motion.

Protein – A molecule that is essential for the growth and repair of various body tissues such as muscle.

Carbohydrates – An organic compound that serves as a major source of energy or fuel for the body.

Fats – An organic compound mostly used as a reserve energy source for the body.

Sports – Physical activity that is fun but competitive, and governed by rules.

Agility – The ability of moving quickly and easily.

Acupuncture Glossary

Acupoint – one of approximately 360 points on the human body where an acupuncture needle can be inserted for pain relief and/or other therapeutic effect

Acupuncture – a form of Chinese medicine that involves the practice of needle insertion into the body in order to reduce pain and/or produce other therapeutic effects

Acupuncture needle – a needle of differing lengths that is inserted into an acupoint

Electro-acupuncture – a practice where small clips are attached to inserted acupuncture needles. The clips are attached to wires which insert into a small box on the other end. This small box produces microcurrent which is sent through the attached wires to stimulate the acupuncture needles. The method of electro-acupuncture can be used to enhance the effects of acupuncture treatment, and also to treat nerve pain or other neurological conditions.

Elements – the Chinese belief that everything around us comes in the form of one of five elements – fire, water, metal, earth, and wood. The meridians (see below) are arranged throughout the human body in such a manner as to reflect these elements.

Meridians – vertical pathways throughout the body that are used in Chinese medicine. Each of these pathways are believed to promote the flow of qi (pronounced “chee”), or vital energy. These meridians are accessed through the use of acupoints.

Qi – pronounced “chee;” a Chinese medicine term that means “vital breath” or “vital air.” Qi is believed to be a vital energy necessary to sustain life force. Qi is believed to regulate many aspects of a person, including their emotional, physical, mental, and spiritual balance. Qi also refers to vital organ oxygenation, which is required for functioning optimally, and is influenced by yin and yang, which are opposing forces.

Traditional Chinese Medicine (TCM) – the ancient Chinese art of balancing Qi (vital energy) throughout the human body through the use of acupuncture and other Chinese medicine techniques. TCM is based on the concept of Qiwhich flows throughout the body. When Qi is disrupted and yin and yang become unbalanced, disease results.

Yang – opposite of “yin;” associated with the more energetic parts of our being. Associated with masculinity, brightness, warmth, and activity. Must be balanced with yin in order to prevent disease.

Yin – opposite of “yang;” associated with the more structural parts of our being. Associated with femininity, dark, coolness, moist, and calming. Must be balanced with yang in order to prevent disease.

Massage Therapy Glossary

General Swedish Massage(GSM) – the most common form of massage therapy.

Hot Stone Massage — A massage that uses heated basalt stones.

Deep Tissue Massage — A form of massage therapy that uses a lot of pressure to relieve muscle tension.

Sports Massage — A form of massage therapy designed for athletes. Typically used before and after an athlete’s sports activity

Trigger Point Therapy — A form of massage therapy designed to release a specific type of knot in the muscle.

Therapeutic Massage — A form of massage therapy designed to work specific muscles from specific injuries or disorders.

Seated Massage — A form of massage therapy that uses a specially designed chair for the massage.

Reflexology — Massaging pressure points in the feet, hands and ears to stimulate the corresponding body organs.

Effleurage — A gliding stroke used by massage therapists. This is typically used at the beginning and end of the massage. It’s purpose is to warm the tissues by providing increased circulation.

Petrissage — A kneading stroke used by massage therapists. This stroke is designed to lift and knead the tissues. It helps in removing the metabolic wastes that have built up in muscle tissue. It also helps to draw new blood to the tissues.

Friction — Also referred as cross fiber friction. This stroke is most commonly used by the therapists fingers or thumbs. The therapist will sink into the muscle with his fingers, then rapidly move them back and forth across the muscle. This helps in breaking down tight knots that have built up in the muscle tissue.

Running Vibration — This is a form of effleurage that involves a light touch. It is usually done in a manner that is both light in touch and quick in movement. It’s purpose is to stimulate the area after it has been worked with other methods.

Tapotement — Percussive form of massage using a light finger tapping to the heavy beating of fists. This is generally used at the end of a massage session and helps to stimulate the tissues. Used during a sports massage, but could also be effective to relieve mucus from lungs.

Muscle Stripping — This is a stroke used by massage therapist designed to help lengthen a muscle. Usually the therapist uses his thumbs or elbow and while applying pressure he glides the full length of the muscle that is being worked on.

Trigger Points — A knot in the belly of a muscle that when pressed on, refers pain to a specific point in the body. Trigger points are knots that are in a constant state of contraction. Normal massage strokes will not “release” a trigger point. A massage therapist has to use direct pressure on the trigger point to interrupt the nerve impulse that is causing the muscle contraction.

Tender Points — are similar to trigger points with the difference being a tender point does not refer pain when pressure is applied. The method for releasing a tender point is different also. The therapist must place the muscle in a passively contracted state until the tender point relaxes and dissipates.

Fascia — is a layer of connective tissue. Fascia is found throughout the human body, and wraps many muscles and organs individually to provide better movement and decrease friction between organs.

Tendons — These connect the muscle to the bone.

Ligaments — These connect bones to bones.

Draping — A technique used to cover a client in order to protect the clients’ modesty.

Drape — The material used for draping, this can be a sheet, pillow case, towel, etc.

Face Cradle — The area where a client rests their face on a massage table.

Lotion, Oil, Gel — The lubricant used to aid the therapist in giving a massage.

Prone — the face down position when a client is on the massage table.

Supine — the face up position when a client is on the massage table.

Sideline Massage — Giving a massage while the client is lying on their side. This massage is used for pregnant women and clients who are physically handicapped, or in pain that prevents him from lying face up or face down on the table.

Spinal Decompression Glossary of Terms

Annulus – the outer rings of a vertebral disc; tears in this part of the disc can allow for the innermost center of the disc (the nucleus propulsus) to “leak” or “bulge” through, thus creating pressure on surrounding structures such as nerves

Cervical – of or pertaining to the neck

Disc Herniation – a condition where the central portion of a disc (the nucleus propulsus) “leaks” or “bulges” out through a tear in the outer rings (annulus) of the disc. This bulged disc may put pressure on nerves creating radiculopathy symptoms.

Harnesses – (also sometimes referred to as “belts”) connect around both the patient’s chest and waist via a clasp or Velcro system in order to safely stabilize the patient on the spinal decompression table during treatment

Lumbar – of or pertaining to the lower back

Nucleus Propulsus – the center gel-like cushioning of a disc; the parts that “leaks” or “bulges” out in a disc herniation

Radiculopathy – when a nerve or nerve root along the spine is compressed/pinched , thereby sending pain, numbness, tingling, or other symptoms to the body part that is served by the compromised nerve

Sciatica – a general term applied for when a herniated disc creates irritation on a nerve; characterized by low back pain as well as pain radiating down one or both legs Spinal Decompression – the relieving of pressure on nerves and/or spinal discs by way of a spinal decompression table. By reducing pressure, herniated discs can sometimes return to their normal anatomical location, and symptoms caused by pinching of nerves can be reduced or alleviated altogether.

Spinal Decompression Table – the table which a patient lays on while undergoing spinal decompression; connected to a computer which controls the force and angle of spinal distraction

Spinal Stenosis – an abnormal narrowing which can occur anywhere along the spinal canal, compromising nerves, blood vessels, and other soft tissues in the vicinity of the stenosis; often creates radicular symptoms such as pain, numbness, tingling, and loss of muscle strength to the area(s) supplied by the compromised nerves

Administration: Glossary of Terms

Motor Vehicle Accident (MVA) – This is the term used to describe the collision of one motor vehicle with another, a stationary object, or person, resulting in injuries, death and/or loss of property. Some health services that are required in the recovery from MVAs may be covered by your automobile insurance company. Such services may include physiotherapy, chiropractic care, massage therapy, acupuncture. To receive coverage from your insurance company for these health services, an assessment from a health practitioner (such as a physiotherapist) must be completed and a treatment plan for your recovery created and submitted to the automobile insurance company. The company will then decide whether or not to cover the treatment expenses. The BodyMend Wellness clinic accepts MVA clients, and will work with them to “mend them back to better health”.

Workplace Safety Insurance Board (WSIB) – WSIB stands for Workplace Safety & Insurance Board. It used to be called the Workers Compensation Board. If an employee is injured in the workplace he/she can be eligible for the WSIB claims for physiotherapy, chiropractic, acupuncture and massage therapy treatments. Specific forms and documents must be completed by the workplace and a physician before approvals for the coverage of the various health services can happen. The BodyMend Wellness clinic accepts WSIB clients, and will work with them to “mend them back to better health”.

Extended Health Coverage (EHC) – Provincial healthcare, although a valuable public service, has certain limitations. When you or your spouse has EHC, through an employer, this type of benefit will cover some or all of the cost which OHIP will not cover. Often health services such as physiotherapy, chiropractic care, massage therapy, acupuncture are covered up to a certain dollar amount per year. This amount is renewed each year. The amount of coverage you have, and the type of health services covered will vary with each insurance provider company. This information is available to you when you contact your insurance provider and inquire.

Program of Care (POC) – Programs of Care for Acute Low Back Injuries, Upper Extremity Injuries, and Lower Extremity Injuries are prepared for workers who experienced injury in the workplace, and who are eligible for WSIB claims. The cost of these programs of care are covered by WSIB when treatment plans to receive health services are submitted by health care professionals and approved by WSIB.

Consent– This is when a client gives permission. This is required to disclose personal information for the purposes of receiving services at the clinic. This would include communication with other professionals such as physicians, legal representatives, and insurance companies. Clients need to give written consent in order to receive any health services offered at the clinic.

Disclosure – The release or divulgence of information by an entity to persons or organizations outside of that entity. At a health and wellness clinic, disclosure of health related information will be required to be disclosed to physicians, legal representatives in MVA cases and government bodies in WSIB related cases.

Liability – Something for which one is liable; an obligation, responsibility.

Insurance provider – Insurance provider provides insurance to coverage of benefits for employees, depending upon how the contract is set-up with the insurance companies. Insurance providers also provide insurance to MVA and WSIB.

Approval Process – The process of getting an approval through a higher authority or from someone who has the authority to make decision – in order to receive coverage for health services. This is a process that needs to be completed for all MVA and WSIB clients in order for their health services for treatment in their recovery to be covered.

Health Practitioner – A professional with expertise in an area of health, who provides preventive, curative, health-promoting or rehabilitative health care services to individuals, families or communities.

Referral – A person recommended to someone or for something.

Personal Health Information Protection Act – The Health Information Protection Act creates a comprehensive approach to protect health information across the health care system. The legislation applies to defined “health information custodians” where they collect, use or disclose personal health information. A health information custodian includes doctors, other health care practitioners, hospitals, and long- term care facilities. It also includes health care clinics, laboratories, pharmacies, the Ministry of Health and Long-Term Care, and other health-related organizations. The legislation also applies to individuals and organizations outside the health system that receive personal health information from the health care system, such as insurance companies, employers, and schools. The legislation applies to everyone regarding the collection, use or disclosure of OHIP numbers.

Confidential – This term refers to the protection of a client’s personal information from the general public. The ability to review or discuss this personal information is limited to those individuals whom the client gives expressed verbal or written consent. At the BodyMend Wellness clinic confidential information may be shared by the health practitioners on the team in order to enable coordination of care.