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Zoomers Guide to Medical Terminology

Active Rehabilitation

This is a type of injury recovery program in which the injured person plays an active role; typically by engaging in restorative exercises.

Activities of Daily Living (ADL’s)

This is a term used in healthcare to refer to basic self-care tasks that a person does on a day-to-day basis. Examples include showering, dressing and eating.


A firm but flexible connective tissue that can be found in various forms in different areas of the body.  Cartilage lines the surfaces of the bones in a joint and is also the tissue that gives tendons and ligaments their rubbery quality.

Delayed Onset Muscle Soreness (DOMS)

This is pain or stiffness felt in the muscles several hours or days after new or unfamiliar strenuous exercise. DOMS is normally felt 24-72 hours after intense exercise.

Dynamic Balance

The ability to remain stable and steady when the body is moving.  An example of this would be walking with the feet in tandem (one foot in front of the other) as though on a balance beam.

Functional Fitness

A type of workout that prioritizes natural movements that we do in our everyday life and activities. Examples of these are walking, lunges, squats or, our favorite at Zoomers, sit to stands.

Gait (g-A-t)

The pattern or style of someone’s walking.

Gait Aid

Any device that is used while walking that provides increased support or stability for the user (ie: cane, walker)

Gait Analysis

The study or assessment of an individual’s walking pattern. This is often used by physiotherapists in the assessment and treatment of injuries.

GLA:D ™ Program

A six-week exercise and education program that teaches those with hip and knee osteoarthritis self-management strategies to optimize their comfort and levels of physical activity (

Osteoarthritis (OA) – aas-te-o-ar-thr-I-tis

A common form of arthritis that causes progressive changes to the joints by the gradual loss of cartilage. It primarily affects the knees, hips, hands and spine.

Osteoporosis (OP) – aas-te-o-po-ro-sis

A condition that Is characterized by low bone density which causes the bones to become more fragile and weaker.  It can lead to an increased risk of fractures.


This sport was established in 1965 as a backyard game that combines table tennis, badminton and tennis. It can be played as singles or doubles, indoors or outdoors and involves using paddles to hit a perforated plastic ball over a net.

Piriformis Syndrome

Piriformis syndrome is a medical condition that occurs when the piriformis muscle, a small muscle located in the buttocks near the top of the hip joint, compresses or irritates the sciatic nerve. The piriformis muscle plays a role in hip rotation, and the sciatic nerve is a large nerve that runs from the lower back down the back of each leg. When the piriformis muscle becomes tight or spasms, it can press against the sciatic nerve, leading to a range of symptoms that are similar to those of sciatica.

Plantar Fasciitis

Inflammation of the broad band of tissue on the bottom of the foot called the plantar fascia. Often caused by overstretching during heavy use or by wearing improper footwear.

Proprioception – pr-O-pr-E-O-sep-shon

The body’s ability to have an awareness of the position of joints and limbs without looking at the body.   

Sedentary Behaviours

Any activity that is done while sitting, reclining or lying down and involves spending very little energy (ie: watching TV, reading).

Static Balance

The ability to maintain your position when standing still. An example of static balance would be standing on one leg.