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Injury and Anatomy Terminology

Too often we read through blog posts, websites, articles and magazines that refer to injuries and medical conditions using terms that are too difficult to understand meaning that you could miss out on key pieces of information.

That is why we have decided to create this page to try and break down some of those terms into a language that is easier to understand and digest.

We hope it helps.

What are the different sections of the spine?

The cervical spine consists of 7 bones in the neck. They start at the base of the skull and finish in line with your shoulders.

The thoracic spine consists of 12 bones that start at the base of the neck and finish at the top of your lower back. The thoracic spine forms part of the rib cage and is an exceptionally rigid and stable section of the spine

The lumbar spine consists of 5 bones and sits between the thoracic spine and the pelvis.

The sacrum and the coccyx form part of the pelvis and the base of the spine. The sacrum is a large fused bone at the base of the spine and the coccyx, also known as the tail bone, is formed of 3-5 fused bones. The coccyx holds no function.

Riixo Sections of the Spine

What is a bulging disk?

bulging disk, also called a herniated disk, is caused when the gel core of the spinal disk pushes out through a small tear in the disk wall. In most cases, they cause little to no pain but in certain circumstances, the bulge applies pressure on a nerve causing pain down the arms or legs.

What is a bursitis?

Bursa is small rubber-like discs that are located all around various joints in the body. They are designed to prevent tendons and ligaments from rubbing against bone and other structures. However, too much friction on one of these bursae, normally from a tight muscle, will cause them to become inflamed and painful.

Bursitis literally translates to inflammation of the bursa.

Burs - itis

(Bursa - inflammation)

What is a herniated disk?

A herniated disk also called a bulging disk, occurs when the soft gel-like core of the spinal disk pushes out through a weakened area of the disk wall and presses on the nerve. In most cases, the injury produces little to no pain and will rectify itself over time. Some people may experience radiating pain down the arms or legs as well as tingling in the feet or hands.

What is an MRI?

MRI is short for Magnetic resonance imaging. It is a category of medical imaging devices that uses strong magnetic fields and radio waves to take incredibly detailed images inside the body.

What is degenerative disk disease?

Degenerative disk disease is not actually a disease but instead describes the natural wear and tear to the spinal disk that occurs in all of us as part of the ageing process. The disk becomes thinner and loses its gel-like texture reducing the level of mobility in the area.

What is neuromuscular control?

Neuromuscular control (NMC) is the automatic or unconscious, response of your muscles to a signal to control dynamic joint stability - in simple terms, it's your body adjusting to keep you balanced, upright or controlled through specific movements.

The example is of a female athlete balancing on one leg on an unstable surface. NMC is referring to all the small adjustments that the body is making in unison to keep her upright and in a stable posture.

Riixo Single Leg standing
Example

What is the difference between a ligament and a tendon?

a ligament attaches bone to bone and helps to provide structure to a joint, tendons attach muscle to bone and transfer the energy from a muscle helping to create movement.

They are both made up of a fibrous connective tissue called collagen.

What is the difference between a sprain and a strain?

A sprain affects ligaments, a strain affects muscles and tendons. One way to try and remember the difference is that there is a 'T' in strain and a 'T' in tendons.

What’s the difference between tendinopathy and tendonitis?

Tendonitis is irritation and inflammation of, or around, the tendon.

Tendinopathy is the breakdown and degeneration of tendon fibres.

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