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Everybodies Chiropractic  |  Chiropractic Terminology
Carpal Tunnel Syndrome:  A progressive and sometimes painful joint disorder caused by a compression of the
median nerve of your wrist. Symptoms include swelling, numbness, tingling and weakness of the hand. It is
usually caused by repetitive flexion and extension motions of the wrist.  Left unattended it can progress to pain,
decreased grip strength and temperature insensitivity.
Capitation:  Capitation is a fixed amount of money per patient per unit of time paid in advance to the physician for
the delivery of health care services regardless of how much of the service is or s not used. The actual amount of
money paid is determined by the ranges of services that are provided, the number of patients involved, and the
period of time during which the services are provided.
CAT Scan:  A computerized axial tomography scan is an x-ray procedure that combines many x-ray images with
the aid of a computer to generate cross-sectional views and, if needed, three-dimensional images of the internal
organs and structures of the body. Computerized axial tomography is more commonly known by its abbreviated
names, CT scan or CAT scan.
Cavitation:  The popping or cracking sound that sometimes occurs during a chiropractic adjustment. This
happens when the vertebral surface is separated creating a vacuum that pulls in nitrogen gas, much like the
sound of removing a suction cup from a flat hard surface.
Cervical:  Referring to the neck region.
Cervical Vertebrae:  The seven vertebrae in the neck immediately below the skull.
Chiropractic:  Comes from the Greek words, chiro, meaning hand, and practic, meaning practice, or treatment. It
is the only health care system that focuses on detecting and reducing vertebral subluxation. Chiropractic relieves
obstructed nerves and improves overall function and health by restoring normal position, motion and function in
the body's structures; especially the spine.
Chiropractor:  Also known as a doctor of chiropractic or D.C.  A chiropractor is a specialist who diagnoses and
treats a wide array of physical conditions in patients with muscular, nervous and skeletal problems.  
Chronic Pain:  Unlike acute pain, chronic pain has lasted for more than three months and can have significant
psychological and emotional affects that limit a person's ability to fully function. Chronic pain may ease up, but
returns on a regular basis.
Coccyx:  A triangular shaped series of small bones at the end of the sacrum commonly referred to as the
Consultation:  Generally the first interaction between the patient and chiropractor.  During this process the two
parties discuss the patient's complaints, history and the doctor’s plan of treatment.
Central Nervous System:  The central nervous system is composed of the brain and spinal cord. Your brain and
spinal cord serve as the main "processing center" for the entire nervous system, and control all the workings of
your body.
Cerebellum:  The cerebellum is a major structure of the hindbrain that is located near the brainstem. This part of
the brain is responsible for motor skills such as balance, coordination, and posture as well as eye movement.
Cerebral Hemispheres:  Either of the two symmetrical halves of the cerebrum, designated right and left.  This is
the most evolved part of the brain.
Claim:  A formal request to an insurance company asking for a payment based on the terms of the insurance
policy. Insurance claims are reviewed by the company for their validity and then paid out to the insured or
requesting party on behalf of the insured once approved.
Compensation Reaction:  A new problem that results from the body's attempt to adapt to a problem or injury
elsewhere in the body. This compensation reaction will go on and on until the original and subsequent problems
are attended to.
Compressive Lesion:  Abnormal spinal bone movement or positioning that places direct pressure on one or
more spinal nerves resulting in decreased nerve transmission and function.
Congenital:  Term used to describe conditions or anomalies that are present at birth.
Co-Pay:  A co-pay, or co-payment, is a flat dollar amount paid for a medical service by an insured individual.  
Insurance companies use copayments to share health care costs after the deductible has been met.
Co-Insurance:  In the US insurance market, co-insurance is the joint assumption of risk between the insurer and
the insured. Coinsurance is expressed as a percentage, rather than a flat dollar amount, with the insurer's
portion stated first. The maximum percentage the insured will be responsible for is generally no more than 50%.
Current Procedural Terminology Code (CPT Code): This is the insurance industries standardized coding system
used to describe specific procedures administered to patients.
CT Scan:  A computerized axial tomography scan is an x-ray procedure that combines many x-ray images with the
aid of a computer to generate cross-sectional views and, if needed, three-dimensional images of the internal
organs and structures of the body. Computerized axial tomography is more commonly known by its abbreviated
names, CT scan or CAT scan.
Customary Fee:  The usual customary fee is the fee typically or usually charged for a service in a particular
geographic area. This prevents providers from charging outrageous prices for services, by determining
acceptable fees based on local competition. This also compensates for different operating costs in different parts
of the country.
Calorie:  By definition a calorie is the energy it takes to raise the temperature of 1 gram of water 1 degree Celsius.
The important word to take away from this definition is energy. Calories are the unit energy in food that fuels our
bodies; much like gasoline fuels our cars.
Carbohydrates:  Carbohydrates include foods composed of starches, sugar and/or fiber. They are the most
common source of energy found in food. Most carbohydrates break down into glucose (a specific type of sugar).
There are two kinds of carbohydrates: simple carbohydrates and complex carbohydrates. Simple carbohydrates
are sugars, while complex carbohydrates include both starches and fiber.
Cardiovascular system:  The cardiovascular system includes the heart and the blood vessels. The heart pumps
blood and the blood vessels channel and deliver it throughout the body.
Catabolism:  Catabolism occurs when there are more negative than positive agents working in the body. Muscles
are always either growing or shrinking - there is no holding pattern. Stress and poor diet/training/sleep patterns
can lead to muscle catabolism.  The metabolic process of catabolism can break down all tissues including
muscle, bone, tendons and ligaments.
Cartilage:  Cartilage is a stiff yet flexible connective tissue found in many areas in the human body, including the
joints between bones, the rib cage, the ear, the nose, the elbow, the knee, the ankle, the bronchial tubes and the
intervertebral discs. It is not as hard and rigid as bone but is stiffer and less flexible than muscle.  Cartilage
serves as the cushion within the joint, and as a shock absorber. When cartilage is damaged or worn away, the
affected joint becomes painful, stiff, and limited in its range of motion.
Cauda Equina:  A bundle of spinal nerve roots that break away from the bottom end of the spinal cord. The cauda
equina comprises the roots of all the spinal nerve roots below the level of the first lumbar vertebra, namely the
sacral and coccygeal nerves. He name is appropriate as it resembles the tail of a horse.
Chinese Medicine:  Chinese medicine is an ancient medical system that takes a deep understanding of the laws
and patterns of nature and applies them to the human body. Chinese medicine is not "New Age," nor is it a
patchwork of different healing modalities. It is a complete medical system that has been practiced for more than
five thousand years. At the heart of Chinese medicine is the tenet that the root cause of illnesses, not their
symptoms, must be treated.
Cholesterol:  Cholesterol is a fat (lipid) which is produced by the liver and is crucial for normal body functioning.  
Cholesterol exists in the outer layer of every cell in our body and has many functions. It is a waxy steroid and is
transported in the blood plasma.  It is also found naturally in animal foods such as meat, fish, poultry, eggs, and
dairy products. Foods high in cholesterol include liver and organ meats, egg yolks, and dairy fats. When
cholesterol levels are too high it can become deposited on the walls of the blood vessels. Over time, the deposits
can build up causing the blood vessels to narrow and blood flow to decrease.
Cortisol:  Cortisol is a steroid hormone made in the adrenal glands, which are small glands adjacent to the
kidneys. The hormone is released in the body during stress; hence is called the "stress hormone." But cortisol is
more than a simple marker of stress levels - it is necessary for the function of almost every part of the body.
Cognitive Restructuring:  A cognitive-behavioral therapy technique used to identify and correct negative thinking
patterns. The technique involves altering negative automatic thoughts that occur in anxiety-provoking situations by
replacing them with more rational beliefs. As thoughts are challenged and disputed, their ability to elicit anxiety is
Complementary Medicine:  A variety of therapeutic or preventive health care practices, such as chiropractic,
homeopathy, naturopathy and herbal medicine, that take an all natural approach to health and healing. Unlike the
medical model they utilize a variety of non-drug and non-surgical treatment.
Compressed Nerve:  This occurs when too much pressure is applied to a nerve by surrounding tissues such as
bones, cartilage, muscles or tendons. This generally causes altered neural function and pain.
Cordotomy:  A spinal cordotomy involves severing certain fibers in the spinal cord that control pain perception.
The purpose is to relieve pain.
Cranio-Sacral Therapy:  A hands on manual therapy identifies alterations in and manipulates the bones in the
skull and sacrum.
Cyclooxygenase:  Cyclooxygenase, or COX, is an enzyme that produces signals that can lead to pain and
inflammation.  Inhibitors of this type of enzyme are known as non-steroidal anti-inflammatory drugs (NSAIDs).
Cartilaginous Joint:  A joint that is joined with cartilage.
Cervicalgia:  Cervical or neck related pain.
Compound Joint:  This is a joint where three or more bones come together and articulate. The radiocarpal or
wrist joint is an example of a compound joint.
Cryotherapy:  Cryotherapy is also known as ice therapy. This therapy involves applying ice to affected painful
areas of the body.  This cold treatment is known to alleviate pain and assist with inflammation, reduce the
hypertonicity of muscles, improve joint and muscle function.
Condyloid Joint:  Gliding joint: In such a joint the articular surfaces are flat, and the bones slide against each
other.  Examples occur in the tarsal joint of the foot, the intercarpal joints of the wrist, and in one movement of the
jaw joint.
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