Cartilage – Definition and Function

Definition of Cartilage Dense connective tissue that provides the foundation for bone in the developing fetus and covers bone ends in the joints in adults. The fetal skeleton forms first as a translucent type of cartilage called hyaline cartilage, with conversion to bone beginning at about the fourth week of pregnancy. Calcification continues after birth. In the adult skeleton, hyaline […]

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Hernia – Types, Symptoms, Treatment, Surgery and Repair

Definition of Hernia Hernia is a separation or tear in the fibers of a muscle that allows the underlying tissue or structure to bulge through. Hernias may occur as a result of congenital weakness or incomplete closure of a channel in the muscle (such as an umbilical or inguinal hernia) or because of injury (unintended or surgical). […]

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Muscular Dystrophy – Types, Symptoms and Treatment

Definition of Muscular Dystrophy The collective term for a group of genetic disorders of the muscle resulting in progressive weakness. Most types of muscular dystrophy arise from a deficiency of the protein dystrophin, which is essential for skeletal (striated) muscle cell integrity and function. Without it the skeletal muscles deteriorate and movement becomes difficult or impossible. About 50,000 Americans have muscular […]

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Physical Therapy – Definition and Information

Definition of Physical Therapy A therapeutic approach to maintain or improve the biomechanics of the body. Physical therapy employs many modalities (types of treatments) including passive and active range of motion exercises, therapeutic massage, hydrotherapy, therapeutic ultrasound, heat and cold, strengthening exercises, flexibility exercises, and balance exercises. In the United States physical therapy requires a doctor’s […]

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Spinal Stenosis – Symptoms, Diagnosis, Treatment and Exercises

Definition of Spinal Stenosis and Symptoms Narrowing of the vertebral channel, usually in the lower (lumbar) back, that compresses the spinal cord or the spinal nerve roots. The narrowing may develop as a consequence of osteoarthritic changes, the formation of bone spurs, or a congenital defect in which the vertebral channel is unusually narrow to […]

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Cervical Spondylosis – Treatment and Symptoms

Definition of Cervical Spondylosis Narrowing of the channel between the vertebrae in the neck through which the spinal cord passes. Cervical spondylosis results from chronic, degenerative osteoarthritis in which there is extensive inflammation and damage to the cartilage disks that separate and cushion the cervical vertebrae (bones of the neck). The damage is permanent and eventually restricts the movement of the neck. Pressure […]

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Herniated Nucleus Pulposus – Treatment and Symptoms

Definition of Herniated Nucleus Pulposus Damage to the structure of the CARTILAGE that cushions the vertebrae, also called a herniated, slipped, or ruptured disk. A herniated nucleus pulposus becomes increasingly common with advancing age, the result of wear and deterioration of the tough outer cartilage (called the annulus fibrosus) that allows the soft inner portion of the […]

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Myasthenia Gravis – Symptoms and Treatment

Definition of Myasthenia Gravis Myasthenia Gravis is a rare autoimmune disorder in which the immune system produces antibodies that target acetylcholine receptors on the cell membrane surfaces of muscle cells. Acetylcholine is a neurotransmitter that carries nerve impulses from neurons to muscle cells to initiate movement. Acetylcholine receptors are specialized molecules that bind acetylcholine molecules, a process analogous to plugging […]

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Plantar Fasciitis – Symptoms and Treatment

Definition of Plantar Fasciitis Plantar fasciitis is inflammation of the fascia along the bottom of the foot (plantar surface). Fascia is a thin, tough sheet of connective tissue that covers and connects the muscles, tendons, and other connective tissue structures throughout the body. It becomes irritated and inflamed with overuse. Plantar fasciitis develops with repeated stretching […]

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