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Glossary

Information is power. Head into your life knowing the terms you need to treat your body right.

Adjustable bed

Allows patients to position their backs at an angle to their legs.

Anatomy

The study of the structure of an organism, its systems and the functional interactions between these systems.

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Ankle joint

A common term usually referring to the upper ankle joint. Three bones come together to form the upper portion of the ankle joint. The outer and inner bones of the ankle (the lower ends of the fibula and tibia, respectively) form what is known as the ankle mortise, a fork-like structure in which the ankle bone (talus) rests.

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Arm bone

Medical term: Humerus.

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Arthritis

There are several types of arthritis, including osteoarthritis, rheumatoid arthritis, and gout. The word "arthritis" means "joint inflammation." Inflammation is one of the body's natural reactions to disease or injury, and includes swelling, pain, and stiffness.

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Arthroscopy

A process during which an arthroscope is used to examine and simultaneously perform surgery in the interior of a joint.

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Articular cavity

The bones forming a joint are coated with a layer of cartilage that is not visible on x-rays. What appears is a gap between the bones that typically narrows as a result of osteoarthritis.

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Bone fracture

In medicine, the term fracture denotes a broken bone usually caused by external forces, such as a fall on the forearm.

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Bone injury

This term encompasses any injury that affects the structure of a bone, such as occurs in an accident or as a result of other forceful impacts.

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Calcaneus

The heel bone acts as the rear point of attachment for the sole of the foot.

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Carpal tunnel syndrome

(Abbr.: CTS) Damage to the median nerve in the carpal tunnel of the wrist.

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Cartilage

A water-containing, highly elastic tissue that acts as a gliding layer covering the surfaces of joints.

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Cartilage damage

Wear and injury to the cartilage in a joint can trigger a case of osteoarthritis.

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Cervical spine

The cervical spine (C-spine) is the name given to the seven vertebrae located between the head and the thoracic spine.

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Cervicobrachial syndrome

Cervicobrachial syndrome (also known as Cervical syndrome) is a blanket term for painful disorders in the neck area in which pain may radiate into the shoulder and arm. These disorders may have a number of different causes.

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Computerized axial tomography

(Abbr.: CT or CAT) While this computer-assisted x-ray procedure is a suitable diagnostic tool both for the skeleton and for soft tissues, it is not as powerful as MRI is for depicting soft tissues.

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Cruciate ligament

A distinction is drawn between the anterior and posterior cruciate ligaments, both of which stabilize the knee by preventing the tibial plateau from sliding either to the front or back.

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CTS

Carpal tunnel syndrome: Damage to the median nerve in the carpal tunnel of the wrist.

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Discus intervertebralis

The intervertebral disc is a ring-shaped structure composed of fibrocartilage and having a gelatinous core at its center. These discs provide an elastic link between vertebrae, thus allowing for movement between individual vertebrae and serving both as the joints and the shock absorbers of the spine. Walking upright places an enormous amount of pressure on the intervertebral discs of human beings.

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Displacement osteotomy

Surgery performed on bones to correct changes in the axis of a joint.

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Distal radius fracture (colles fracture)

A distal break in the radius in the wrist, generally due to a fall.

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Drawer sign, anterior and posterior

The lower leg can be pulled forward if the anterior cruciate ligament is torn (known as the anterior drawer sign) and pushed backwards if the posterior cruciate ligament is torn (posterior drawer sign).

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Early functional therapy

This term describes a modern form of rehabilitation following injury; may be conducted with or without surgical intervention. The aim of functional therapy is to mobilize an injured extremity or joint at an early point in rehabilitation in order to avoid complications such as muscle deterioration, joint stiffness, thrombosis, etc. Supports are a tool used in functional therapy.

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Edema

Edema is the medical term for swelling. It is a general response of the body to injury or inflammation. Edema can be isolated to a small area or affect the entire body.

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Epicondyle lateral

The lateral epicondyle of the humerus is a small, tuberculated eminence, curved a little forward, and giving attachment to the radial collateral ligament of the elbow-joint. (See Tennis Elbow)

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Epicondyle medial

The medial epicondyle of the humerus, larger and more prominent than the lateral epicondyle, is directed a little backward; it gives attachment to the ulnar collateral ligament of the elbow-joint. (See Golfer’s Elbow)

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Fibula

The fibula and shinbone (tibia) together form the shaft of the lower leg. The lower end of the fibula forms the outer ankle.

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Fracture

In medicine, the term fracture denotes a broken bone.

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Golfer's elbow or medial epicondylitis or pitcher's elbow

Also called pitcher’s elbow or medial epicondylitis, this condition is less common than tennis elbow. Golfer’s elbow affects the ulnar (medial) epicondyle, which is precisely the opposite side of the elbow affected in tennis elbow. (See also Medial epicondylitis)

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Heel bone

The heel bone acts as the rear point of attachment for the sole of the foot.

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Hematoma

A hematoma results when tissue is injured (due to an accident or surgery), causing blood to flow into the surrounding soft tissue or into the articular cavity. To prevent the hematoma from spreading, first-aid measures should include cooling, applying gentle pressure and elevating the affected area.

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Herniated disc

A herniated disc occurs when the inner disc material protrudes out of the disc. This can result in irritation or pressure on the disc. Most disc herniations cause little or no symptoms.

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Humerus

The humerus is the medical term for the arm bone.

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Intervertebral disc

The intervertebral disc is a ring-shaped structure composed of fibrocartilage and having a gelatinous core at its center. These discs provide an elastic link between vertebrae, thus allowing for movement between individual vertebrae and serving both as the joints and the shock absorbers of the spine. Walking upright places an enormous amount of pressure on the intervertebral discs of human beings.

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Intervertebral joints

Each vertebral arch possesses four articular processes that form the vertebral joints by connecting to the articular processes above and below.

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Joint support or brace

Preferably made of an elastic material that can mold to any part of the body and exert gentle pressure. By enhancing the proprioceptive effect, joint supports can be used to improve fine motor control of a joint.

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Knee menisci

The menisci are two crescent-shaped, fibrocartilage discs located in the articular cavity between both ends of the femur and the articular surface of the tibia. Acting in conjunction with the cartilage layers surrounding the bones of the joint, these discs serve as something of a shock absorber by changing shape and position in response to stress on the joint. In so doing, they help distribute pressure across the greatest possible surface area. The menisci also surround the femoral condyles and link them to the surface of the tibial plateau.

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Kneecap

Acts to increase the leverage of the anterior (quadriceps) muscles of the thigh acting across the knee to the shinbone when straightening the knee.

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Lateral collateral ligament

Stabilizes the knee on the outer (lateral) side of the joint.

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Lateral epicondyle

The lateral epicondyle of the humerus is a small, tuberculated eminence, curved a little forward, and giving attachment to the radial collateral ligament of the elbow-joint. (also see Tennis Elbow)

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Lateral epicondylitis

Tennis elbow (lateral epicondylitis) refers to an inflammatory or degenerative change to the lateral (radial) epicondyle (epicondylus radialis) that results from overexertion of the joint. Conservative therapy constitutes the first line of treatment, with surgical intervention indicated only if pain becomes constant. (See Lateral epicondylitis)

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Lateral Ligaments

Common term denoting the system of lateral ligaments of the upper ankle joint. Because it links the lateral ankle (malleolus) to the heel bone (calcaneus) and the ankle bone (talus), the outer ligaments play a key role in stabilizing the ankle joint.

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Ligament system

A term frequently used by medical professionals to denote an entire complex of ligaments such as the lateral ligaments, a common term referring to what is actually a system of three individual ligaments located on the outer ankle and functioning as a single unit.

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Lumbago

Low back pain.

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Lumbar

The portion of the spinal canal located in the lower back.

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Lumbar sciatica

Painful irritation of the spinal and sciatic nerves and tension in the muscles of the back, often radiating outwards into the buttocks and thigh.

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Lumbar spine

The lumbar spine (L-spine) consists of five lumbar vertebrae and allows the torso to bend, stretch, move from side to side and rotate (slightly) around the axis of the body. A variety of frequent complaints can result from any number of degenerative changes to the L-spine. These changes include osteoarthritis of the vertebral joints or damage to the intervertebral discs.

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Magnetic resonance imaging

(Abbr.: MRI) MRIs are ideally suited to diagnosing damage and changes to the soft tissues (such as injury to the cruciate ligament of the knee) and to the intervertebral discs, and, unlike CAT scans, do not expose patients to radiation.

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Medial collateral ligament

Stabilizes the knee on the inner (medial) side of the joint.

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Medial epicondyle

The medial epicondyle of the humerus, larger and more prominent than the lateral epicondyle, is directed a little backward; it gives attachment to the ulnar collateral ligament of the elbow-joint. (See Golfer’s Elbow)

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Medial epicondylitis

Also called pitcher’s elbow, this condition is far less common than tennis elbow. It affects the ulnar (medial) epicondyle, which is precisely the opposite side of the elbow affected in tennis elbow. (See Golfer’s elbow)

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Median nerve

The median nerve (Nervus medianus) runs through the carpal tunnel in the wrist, innervating the thumb and the index, middle and ring fingers.

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Meniscus Tear

The meniscus is a rubbery, C-shaped disc that cushions your knee. Each knee has two menisci (plural of meniscus)-one at the outer edge of the knee and one at the inner edge. The menisci keep your knee steady by balancing your weight across the knee. A torn meniscus can prevent your knee from working right.

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Minimally invasive surgery

A surgical technique resulting in as little damage as possible to the affected tissues. Minimally invasive procedures are performed by means of tiny incisions through which an endoscope or arthroscope is inserted and used to perform the surgery.

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MRI

Abbreviation for magnetic resonance imaging

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Navicular fracture

The scaphoid (navicular bone or os scaphoideum) is the carpal bone located on the radial side of the wrist. Frequently occurring when an individual falls on the wrist, scaphoid fractures are typically immobilized for 12 weeks using a plaster cast.

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Nervus medianus

The median nerve (Nervus medianus) runs through the carpal tunnel in the wrist, innervating the thumb and the index, middle and ring fingers.

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Orthotics or brace

External stabilizing devices with rigid or semi-rigid components and, in some cases, with adjustable degrees of movement (e.g. in knee orthotics).

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Osteoarthritis

Osteoarthritis is caused by damage to the joint, which can result from various conditions, including infections, poor posture and other malpositions (knock-kneed or bowlegged stance) or incorrect or excessive strain on the joint. If the cartilage layer flattens out, for instance, x-rays will show that the articular cavity has also been flattened.

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Patellar Tracking Disorder

Patellar tracking disorder occurs when the kneecap (patella) shifts out of place as the leg bends or straightens. In most cases, the kneecap shifts too far toward the outside of the leg, although in a few people it shifts toward the inside.

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Patello-femoral pain syndrome

Pain surrounding the kneecap for which a variety of conditions may be responsible.

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Physical or physiotherapy

A blanket term covering all rehabilitation treatments, such as active/passive therapy, lymph drainage, massage, balneotherapy, and all forms of movement therapy.

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Pitcher's elbow

Also known as golfer’s elbow or medial epicondylitis, this condition is far less common than tennis elbow. It affects the ulnar (medial) epicondyle, which is precisely the opposite side of the elbow affected in tennis elbow. (See Medial epicondylitis)

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Plantar Fasciitis

Plantar Fasciitis is the most common cause of heel pain. The plantar fascia is the flat band of tissue (ligament) that connects your heel bone to your toes. It supports the arch of your foot. If you strain your plantar fascia, it gets weak, swollen, and irritated (inflamed). Then your heel or the bottom of your foot hurts when you stand or walk.

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Proprioception

Stimulation of nerve receptors by stretching or applying pressure. The aim of proprioception is to stimulate a dynamic, reflex-like response of the musculature that serves to stabilize and improve fine motor control of a joint. External stabilizing devices, such as tapes, joint supports or orthotics, have a proprioceptive effect.

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Radial head

The proximal end of the radius, the radial head, is held to the ulna by an annular ligament that allows the forearm to rotate both outwards and inwards.

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Radius

The radius and ulna together form the shaft of the forearm.

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Rehabilitation

All measures taken to restore a patient’s health and to integrate the individual into normal (professional) life (medical, occupational and social integration).

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Sacroiliac Joint

This joint form the junctions between the spine and each side of the pelvis. The sacroiliac joint bears the weight and stress of the torso, which makes them susceptible to injury.

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Scaphoid fracture

The scaphoid (navicular bone or os scaphoideum) is the carpal bone located on the radial side of the wrist. Frequently occurring when an individual falls on the wrist, scaphoid fractures are typically immobilized for 12 weeks using a plaster cast.

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Shinbone (Tibia)

The shinbone (tibia) and the fibula together form the shaft of the lower leg. The lower end of the shinbone forms the inner ankle.

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Shock-wave therapy

Shock-wave therapy was first used to disintegrate kidney stones and then adapted for use in orthopedic applications. The procedure involves the emission of brief pulses of high-energy sound waves that improve the flow of blood and stimulate metabolism as a means of easing pain.

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Spinal cord

The spinal cord is the component of the central nervous system that runs through the spinal canal from the brain down into the upper part of the lumbar spine and performs the important function of transmitting signals between the brain and the body.

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Spondylarthritis

Osteoarthritis of the intervertebral joints of the spinal column.

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Sprain

The term sprain describes a stretch injury of a joint and most frequently occurs in the ankle and the joints of the fingers. A distortion often results in partially or completely torn ligaments. Conservative-functional therapy is generally both sufficient and successful.

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Synovia

Produced by the inner membrane of the articular capsule ( synovialis), the synovial fluid (synovia) nourishes the cartilage and acts as a lubricant to reduce friction within the joint.

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Synovial fluid

Produced by the inner membrane of the articular capsule (synovialis), the synovial fluid (synovia) nourishes the cartilage and acts as a lubricant to reduce friction within the joint.

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Synovial membrane

The inner layer of the articular capsule responsible for producing and reabsorbing synovial fluid.

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Synovialis

The inner layer of the articular capsule responsible for producing and reabsorbing synovial fluid.

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Tendon sheath

A tendon sheath is a fluid-filled envelope surrounding a tendon. Similar to the bursae, tendon sheaths perform a protective function and make it possible for tendons to slide.

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Tendonitis

Tendinitis is an inflammation or irritation of a tendon, a thick cord that attaches bone to muscle. It is mainly caused by a repetitive, minor impact on the affected area, or from a sudden more serious injury.

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Tennis elbow

Tennis elbow (lateral epicondylitis) refers to an inflammatory or degenerative change to the lateral (radial) epicondyle (epicondylus radialis) that results from overexertion of the joint during occupational or athletic activities. Conservative therapy constitutes the first line of treatment, with surgical intervention indicated only if pain becomes constant. (See Lateral epicondylitis)

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Tenosynovitis

Most often a non-bacterial inflammation of a tendon and/or tendon sheath.

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Tibia

The shinbone (tibia) and the fibula together form the shaft of the lower leg. The inner ankle is formed by the lower end of the shinbone.

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Tibial plateau

The tibial plateau, i.e., the flattened end of the tibia nearest the torso, has two articular surfaces (the inner/medial and the outer/lateral surfaces) that make contact with the femur. The two cruciate ligaments are attached to the middle of the tibial plateau.

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Ulna

The ulna and radius together form the shaft of the forearm.

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Ultrasound therapy

Sonic vibrations generate heat within the body. The thermal and mechanical effects of ultrasound improve local blood flow.

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Unhappy triad

An injury to the knee resulting in tears in the anterior cruciate ligament, the medial meniscus and the medial collateral ligament.

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Varicose Veins

Varicose veins are twisted, enlarged veins near the surface of the skin. They are most common in the legs and ankles.

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Vertebrae

The vertebrae, i.e., the bony structures of the spine, are connected together via the intervertebral discs to form elastic joints. The posterior portion of each vertebra is formed by a vertebral arch that surrounds the spinal cord and, together with the other vertebral arches, forms the spinal canal.

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Vertebral artery syndrome

The arteria vertebralis (vertebral artery) is a branch of the subclavian artery feeding into the brain and running through the transverse processes of the vertebrae along the left and right sides of the cervical spine. A patient may experience dizziness or ringing in the ears if this channel narrows (e.g., as a result of osteoarthritis) and constricts the vertebral artery.

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Whiplash

Also called neck sprain or neck strain, whiplash is an injury to the neck. Symptoms occur following damage to the neck where the intervertebral joints (located between vertebrae), discs, ligaments, cervical muscles, and nerve roots may become damaged.
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X-ray

A method utilizing radiation as a means of imaging the human body. While this technique is extremely well-suited for examining the bony structures of the body, soft tissue can only be seen faintly or not at all and is best viewed using CAT scans or MRIs.
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Support Levels

Click levels to expand

Mild, Moderate, and Firm Support levels icon

+ Mild

Mild icon

+ Moderate

Moderate icon

+ Moderate Stabilizing

Moderate icon

+ Firm

Firm icon

+ Firm Stabilizing

Firm icon

Compression Levels

Click levels to expand

Mild, Moderate, and Firm Support levels icon

+ Mild

Mild icon

+ Moderate

Moderate icon

+ Firm

Firm icon