Spine Glossary

sort descending Term description
cauda equina

Composed of the nerve roots in the lumbar spine that come off the end of the spinal cord and travel to the lower extremities, bowel and bladder.

cauda equina syndrome (CES)

Loss of bowel and bladder control (incontinence) and numbness in the groin and saddle area of the pelvis, associated with weakness of the lower extremities. This condition can be caused by abnormal pressure on the bottom-most portion of the spinal canal and spinal nerve roots, related to either bony stenosis or a large herniated disc.

cervical

Neck. Related to the neck.

chemonucleolysis

Injection of chymopapain (papaya-based or other enzyme) into a herniated disc to reduce pressure.

chiropractic

As a part of the comprehensive nature of care that is offered at the Institute of Spinal Disorders, chiropractic treatment may be considered a part of an individual’s care plan.

chronic

Persistent or lasting a long time, and in the case of back pain, referring to conditions lasting longer than three months.

claudication

Intermittent limping due to pinching on the nerves in the lumbar spine and not enough blood supply to nerves or muscles.

CNS

Central nervous system.

coccyx

Bottom most bone of the spine. Tip of the tailbone.

corticosteroids

Medications administered either orally or by injection for severe pain in the low back, neck, or radiating pain. Useful for their powerful antiinflammatory effect. Corticosteroids of different types are used frequently in medicine to treat a variety of conditions thought to be caused by inflammation.

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