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Glossary of Sports Medicine Terminology- P


Updated December 03, 2003

Glossary of Sports Medicine Terminology

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Parasthesia: Sensation of numbness or tingling, indicating nerve irritation.

Patella: The kneecap. The patella functions to protect the distal end of the femur as well as increase the mechanical advantage and force generating capacities of the quadriceps muscle group.

Patella Tendinitis: Inflammation of the patellar ligament; also known as "jumper's knee."

Patellofemoral Joint: Articulation of the kneecap and femur. Inflammation of this joint can occur through: 1) acute injury to the patella, 2) overuse from excessive running particularly if there is an associated knee weakness, 3) chronic wear and tear of the knee and, 4) as a result of poor foot mechanics. Patellofemoral irritation can lead to chondromalacia, which in its most chronic condition, could require surgery.

Pathology: Study of the nature and cause of injury.

PBATS: Professional Baseball Athletic Trainers Society; the governing body of athletic trainers in professional baseball.

Pectorals: Chest muscles beneath breast that lead up to the shoulder.

Peroneal Muscles: Group of muscles of the lateral lower leg that are responsible for everting the ankle. Tendons of these three muscles are vital to the stability of the ankle and foot.

Phalanx: Any bone of the fingers or toes; plural is phalanges.

Phlebitis: Inflammation of a vein.

Phonophoresis: The technique of driving whole molecules of medication with ultrasound.

Plantar: Pertaining to the sole of the foot.

Plantar Fascia: The tight band of muscle beneath the arch of the foot.

Plantar Fasciaitis: Inflammation of the plantar fascia; associated with overuse of acute foot injury.

Plantarflexion: Ankle motion such that the toes are pointed toward the ground.

Plica: Fold of tissue in the joint capsule and a common result of knee injury.

Posterior: At the back part, or rear of the body.

Posterior Cruciate Ligament (PCL): A primary stabilizing ligament of the knee that provides significant stability and prevents displacement of the tibia backward within the knee joint. A complete tear of this ligament necessitating reconstruction could require up to 12 months of rehabilitation.

Progressive Resistance Exercise (PRE): An approach to exercise whereby the load or resistance to the muscle is applied by some mechanical means and is quantitatively and progressively increased over time.

Pronation: In the foot, it is a combination of motions resulting in a position such that the foot is abducted and everted. Foot pronation can be a by-product of an arch problem, leg length discrepancy, or chronically bad running mechanics; can be compromised with the use of an orthotic. In the hand, pronation is movement of the forearm into a palm down position.

Proprioceptive Neuromuscular Facilitation (PNF): An appproach to therapeutic exercise based on the principles of functional human anatomy and neurophysiology.

Proximal: Near the source, nearest any point being describe. The elbow is proximal to the hand.

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