Palpation: Palpation means done by hand. Palpation is the method the chiropractor uses to perform a spinal
examination. Using touch and feel the chiropractor will examine the size, consistency, texture, location, and
tenderness of affected body parts.
Paresthesia: Abnormal sensation of the skin. Paresthesia refers to a burning or prickling sensation that is
usually felt in the hands, arms, legs, or feet, but can also occur in other parts of the body. The sensation, which
happens without warning, is usually painless and described as tingling or numbness, skin crawling, or itching.
Pedicle: A pedicle is a stem or stalk of tissue that connects parts of the body to each other. In the spine a pedicle
is the ridged surface that connects the vertebral body to the lamina and vertebral arch.
PI: This is used to abbreviate personal injury. Personal injury is a legal term for an injury to the body, mind or
emotions, as opposed to an injury to property. The most common types of personal injury claims are road traffic
accidents, accidents at work, tripping accidents, assault claims and accidents in the home.
Physical Therapy: Physical therapy uses physical agents: exercise and massage and other modalities. Physical
therapy is a type of treatment you may need when health problems make it hard to move around and do everyday
tasks. It helps you move better and may relieve pain. It also helps improve or restore your physical function and
your fitness level.
Preventative Care: Care that goes beyond pain relief and correction. This level of care attempts to achieve or
promote an optimum state of physical, mental and social well-being. Increasing the strength and function of the
body reduces the possibility of injury.
Pathology: Pathology is a broad field that concentrates on the changes in organs, tissues, and cells that occur
as a result of disease or injury.
Pathophysiology: Pathophysiology is the study of functional changes in the body which occur in response to
disease or injury. Understanding the progress of disease is the key to learning how to identify and treat it. There
are two separate components involved in pathophysiology. The first is physiology, the study of the body and its
functions. The second is pathology, the study of disease and its impact on the body. In pathophysiology, doctors
look at how the progress of a disease changes the body, and how the changes can be treated or reversed.
Pediatrics: Healthcare devoted to the treatment and well being of infants and children.
Peripheral Nervous System: The peripheral nervous system includes all the nerves that exit spinal cord and
travel throughout the body to innervate every cell, tissue and organ of the body.
Personal Injury Protection (PIP): A type of coverage in an automobile insurance policy that pays for medical
costs incurred as a result of injury from an accident.
Personal Injury: Personal injury is a legal term for an injury to the body, mind or emotions, as opposed to an
injury to property. The most common types of personal injury claims are road traffic accidents, accidents at work,
tripping accidents, assault claims and accidents in the home.
Physiology: Physiology is the study of how living systems function. Scientists who study physiology are called
physiologists. Physiologists study living systems from the subcellular level all the way to the level of the whole
organism and how organisms adapt to vastly different environments and stresses.
Physiotherapy: Physiotherapy is also known as physical therapy. Physiotherapy uses physical agents: exercise
and massage and other modalities. Physiotherapy is a type of treatment you may need when health problems
make it hard to move around and do everyday tasks. It helps you move better and may relieve pain. It also helps
improve or restore your physical function and your fitness level.
Posterior: Toward the back or rear of the body.
Post-Examination: An examination used to re-evaluate a patient’s condition and progress. The results of this
type of exam are used to determine the continuing need for additional treatment.
PPO: PPO stands for Preferred Provider Organization. This is a type of health insurance plan that offers
in-network as well as out-of-network coverage. However, out-of-network coverage is typically subject to either a
higher deductible or lower co-insurance than in-network, often times both. No referrals are required in order to
Pre-Authorization: A provision in certain insurance policies or plans that requires approval before a service can
be rendered. Without following this rule payment may not be granted for the service.
Prognosis: A prediction of the probable course and outcome of a condition or the likelihood of recovery. When a
person receives a prognosis, it’s wise to remember that this is a best guess based on the previous experience
or knowledge of the doctor. Like many prediction methods, it has an element of chance and doesn’t fully take into
account the way any one person will respond to treatment.
Prone: Prone position is an anatomical term that refers to a face-down body position. It can refer to the position
of the entire body, as in lying on one’s stomach, or to the position of a limb, as when the palm of the hand is
Provider: Those who provide health care services, such as hospitals, physicians, chiropractors, nurse
practitioners and others.
PT: An abbreviation for physical therapy. Physical therapy uses physical agents: exercise and massage and
other modalities. Physical therapy is a type of treatment you may need when health problems make it hard to
move around and do everyday tasks. It helps you move better and may relieve pain. It also helps improve or
restore your physical function and your fitness level.
Pancreas: The pancreas is a gland that produces chemicals that are crucial for blood sugar regulation and
proper digestion. It is an abdominal gland, and is situated in the abdominal cavity, behind the stomach.
Pedometer: A small portable device worn on the belt that counts each step taken, total distance walked for a
period of time determined by the user.
Piriformis Syndrome: In piriformis syndrome the piriformis muscle causes compression of the sciatic nerve as
it travels across the hip. The sciatic nerve becomes extremely irritated resulting in pain or tingling in the buttocks
mimicking the symptoms of sciatica. This pain may occasionally be felt in the lower back, or down the thigh and it
may be especially noticeable if you are seated or climbing up stairs.
Plantar Fasciitis: Inflammation and irritation of the ligament that extends from the front of the heel bone through
the bottom of the foot. Standing for several consecutive hours on a hard surface, running too much or too hard,
wearing improperly fitting shoes or those that don't have enough arch support, being overweight, and unusual
tightness in the feet or legs, are all related to plantar fasciitis. Left unattended this condition can create
permanent damage and can change the way that you walk, creating other painful problems throughout the body.
Phenylethanolamine (PEA): This is an enzyme found in the adrenal medulla that converts Norepinephrine to
Physical Activity: Any form of exercise or physical movement.
Physical Fitness: The measure of a person's ability to perform physical activity. To be considered physically fit
requires endurance, strength and flexibility. Your level of physical fitness can be improved by any combination of
regular activity or the development of an exercise routine.
Polyunsaturated Fat: From a chemical standpoint, polyunsaturated fats are simply fats that have more than one
double-bonded or unsaturated carbon in the molecule. Polyunsaturated fats are typically liquid at room
temperature and when chilled. This is type of fat is found mostly in plant-based foods and oils. Evidence shows
that eating foods rich in polyunsaturated fats improves blood cholesterol levels, which can decrease your risk of
Protein: Proteins are the building blocks of life. The body needs protein to repair and maintain itself. The basic
structure of protein is a chain of amino acids. Every cell in the human body contains protein. It is a major part of
the skin, muscles, organs, and glands. Protein is also found in all body fluids, except bile and urine. You need
protein in your diet to help your body repair cells and make new ones. Protein is also important for growth and
development during childhood, adolescence, and pregnancy.
Pivot Joint: A joint in which one bone furnishes a pivot on which another turns, or turns itself on its own axis
resting on another bone. An example of the former is the atlanto-axial joint between the first and second cervical
vertebrae, in which the odontoid peg of the second cervical vertebra passes through the ring like portion of the
first cervical vertebra.