Spine Glossary

sort descending Term description

Magnetic resonance imaging. A diagnostic imaging test. MRI clearly images soft tissues such as the intervertebral disc and neural structures as well as bones. A very sensitive and specific spinal imaging test.


Spinal cord inflammation.


Spinal cord disorder which commonly causes weakness in the lower extremities and spasticity in the upper extremities which may be the consequence of spinal stenosis, particularly in the cervical spine, or an injury to the spinal cord.


North American Spine Society. A multidisciplinary organization for spine care professionals and researchers that advances quality spine care through education, research and advocacy.

National Guideline Clearinghouse (NGC)

National database of treatment guidelines available to the public and health care providers.



nerve root block

Injection of corticosteroids (anti-inflammatories) and a local anesthetic onto the nerve root sleeve surrounding a nerve root.


National Institutes of Health. One of the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services Public Services Agencies. The NIH is the federal base for medical research in the U.S.


Nurse practitioner. Registered nurse with additional education and training.


Nonsteroidal antiinflammatory drugs. Medications also used to reduce swelling and inflammation. Examples of NSAIDs are aspirin, ibuprofen, naproxen and a variety of prescription drugs.There are different classes of NSAID medications, including COX-1 and COX-2 inhibitors.