articulatory treatment


balanced ligamentous tension treatment


cranial treatment


direct treatment


direct treatment


facilitated positional release treatment


high velocity/low amplitude treatment


indirect treatment


indirect treatment


integrated neuromusculoskeletal release treatment


ligamentous articular strain treatment


muscle energy treatment


myofascial release treatment


neuromusculoskeletal medicine


osteopathy in the cranial field/cranial treatment


osteopathic manipulative therapy


osteopathic manipulative treatment


progressive inhibition of neuromuscular structures


soft tissue treatment


visceral manipulative treatment

Accessory movements

Movements used to potentiate, accentuate, or compensate for an impairment in a physiologic motion (e.g.: the movements needed to move a paralyzed limb).


A self-reversing and nonpersistent adaptation.


A therapeutic system in which a disease is treated by producing a second condition that is incompatible with or antagonistic to the first (Stedman’s).


A term used to refer those holding a Doctor of Medicine (MD) degree,
a non-osteopathic medical degree.

Anatomical barrier

See barrier, (motion barrier).

Angle: Furgeson angle

See angle, lumbosacral.

Lumbolumbar lordotic angle

An objective quantification of lumbar lordosis typically determined by measuring the angle between the superior surface of the second lumbar vertebra and the inferior surface of the fifth lumbar vertebra; best measured from a standing lateral film.

Lumbosacral angle

Represents the angle of the lumbosacral junction as measured by the inclination of the superior surface of the first sacral vertebra to the horizontal (this is actually a sacral angle); usually measured from standing lateral films; also known as Ferguson’s angle.

Anterior component

A positional descriptor used to identify the side of reference when rotation of a vertebra has occurred; in a condition of right rotation, the left side is the anterior component; usually refers to the less prominent transverse process.

Anterior compression test

See ASIS (anterior superior iliac spine) compression test.

Anterior iliac rotation

Somatic dysfunction of, anterior (forward) innominate (iliac) rotation.


See T.A.R.T..

Articular pillar

1. Refers to the columnar arrangement of the articular portions of the cervical vertebrae.
2. Those parts of the lateral arches of the cervical vertebrae that ontain a superior and inferior articular facet.


1. The place of union or junction between two or more bones of the skeleton.
2. The active or passive process of moving a joint through its permitted anatomic range of motion.
See also osteopathic manipulative treatment, articulatory treatment (ART) system.

Articulatory pop

The sound made when cavitation occurs in a joint. See also cavitation.


Absence of symmetry of position or motion; dissimilarity in corresponding parts or organs on opposite sides of the body that are normally alike; of particular use when describing position or motion alteration resulting from somatic dysfunction.


1. An imaginary line about which motion occurs.
2. The second cervical vertebra.
3. One component of an axis system.

ASIS (anterior superior iliac spine) compression test

1. A test for lateralization of somatic dysfunction of the sacrum, innominate or pubic symphysis.
2. Application of a force through the ASIS into one of the pelvic axes to assess the mechanics of the pelvis.

Axoplasmic flow

See axoplasmic transport.

Axoplasmic transport

The antegrade movement of substances from the nerve cell along the axon toward the terminals, and the retrograde movement from the terminals toward the nerve cell.

Backward bending test

1. This test discriminates between forward and backward sacral torsion/rotation.
2. This test discriminates between unilateral sacral flexion and unilateral sacral extension.

Barrier (motion barrier)

The limit to motion; in defining barriers, the palpatory end-feel characteristics are useful.

Anatomic barrier

the limit of motion imposed by anatomic structure; the limit of passive motion.

Elastic barrier

the range between the physiologic and anatomic barrier of motion in which passive ligamentous stretching occurs before tissue disruption.

Pathologic barrier

a restriction of joint motion associated with pathologic change of tissues (example: osteophytes).
See also barrier, restrictive barrier

Physiologic barrier

the limit of active motion.

Restrictive barrier

a functional limit that abnormally diminishes the normal physiologic range.


Palpable resistance to motion of an articulation or tissue.
Synonym: resistance. Antonyms: ease, compliance, resilience.


Mechanical principles applied to the study of biological functions; the application of mechanical laws to living structures; the study and knowledge of biological function from an application of mechanical principles.

Body unity

One of the basic tenets of the osteopathic philosophy; the human being is a dynamic unit of function.


A tissue texture abnormality characterized principally by a palpable sense of sponginess in the tissue, interpreted as resulting from congestion due to increased fluid content.


Toward the tail or inferiorly.


The formation of small vapor and gas bubbles within fluid caused by local reduction in pressure. This phenomenon is believed to produce an audible “pop” in certain forms of OMT.


Toward the head.

Cephalad pubic dysfunction

Somatic dysfunctions of, superior pubic shear.

Cerebrospinal fluid, fluctuation of

A description of the hypothesized action of cerebrospinal fluid with regard to the craniosacral mechanism.

Chapman reflex

1. A system of reflex points that present as predictable anterior and posterior fascial tissue texture abnormalities (plaque-like changes or stringiness of the involved tissues) assumed to be reflections of visceral dysfunction or pathology.
2 . Originally used by Frank Chapman, DO, and described by Charles Owens, DO.


1. The circular movement of a limb.
2. The rotary movement by which a structure is made to describe a cone, the apex of the cone being a fixed point (e.g., the circular movement of the shoulder).

Complete motor asymmetry

Asymmetry of palpatory responses to all regional motion inputs including rotation, translation and active respiration.


1. The ease with which a tissue may be deformed.
2. Direction of ease in motion testing.


1. Somatic dysfunction in which two structures are forced together.
2. A force which approximates two structures.


Shortening and/or development of tension in muscle.

Concentric contraction

contraction of muscle resulting in approximation of attachments.

Eccentric contraction

lengthening of muscle during contraction due to an external force.

Isokinetic contraction

1. A concentric contraction against resistance in which the angular change of joint motion is at the same rate.
2. The counterforce is less than the patient force.

Isolytic contraction

1. A form of eccentric contraction designed to break adhesions using an operator-induced force to lengthen the muscle.
2. The counterforce is greater than the patient force.

Isometric contraction

1. Change in the tension of a muscle without approximation of muscle origin and insertion.
2. Operator force equal to patient force.

Isotonic contraction

1. A form of concentric contraction in which a constant force is applied.
2. Operator force less than patient force.

Contracted muscle

The physiologic muscular excitation.
See also contractured muscle.


A condition of fixed high resistance to passive stretch of a muscle, resulting from fibrosis of the tissues supporting the muscles or the joints, or from disorders of the muscle fibers.

Dupuytren contracture

shortening, thickening and fibrosis of the palmar fascia, producing a flexion deformity of a finger (Dorland’s).

Contractured muscle

histological change substituting non-contractile tissue for muscle tissue, which prevents the muscle from reaching normal relaxed length. See also contracted muscle.

Core link

The connection of the spinal dura mater from the occiput at the foramen magnum to the sacrum. It coordinates the synchronous motion of these two structures.


Posterior movement of the sacral base around a transverse axis in relation to the ilia.
See also nutation.

Cranial rhythmic impulse (CRI)

1. A palpable, rhythmic fluctuation believed to be synchronous with the primary respiratory mechanism.
2. Term coined by John Woods, DO, and Rachel Woods, DO.

Craniosacral mechanism

1. A term used to refer to the anatomical connection between the occiput and the sacrum by the spinal dura mater.
2. A term coined by William G. Sutherland, DO. See also extension, craniosacralextension and flexion, craniosacral flexion.


Certification Special Proficiency in Osteopathic Manipulative Medicine. Granted by the American Osteopathic Association through the American Osteopathic Board of Special Proficiency in Osteopathic Manipulative Medicine from 1989 through 1999.
See also NMM-OMM.


The capacity of fascia and other tissue to lengthen when subjected to a constant tension load resulting in less resistance to a second load application.


Tissue texture changes, Asymmetry, Restriction, Tenderness.


counterstrain treatment