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Zoomers Guide to Medical Terminology

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.

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.


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.

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.   

Gait (g-A-t)

The pattern or style of someone’s walking.

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.

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.

Static Balance

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

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.

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.

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.

Sedentary Behaviours

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