Glossary of Sports Medicine Terminology - D

sports medicine terms
sports medicine terms.

Glossary of Sports Medicine Terminology - D

Debridement: The removal of non-healthy tissues and foreign material from a wound or burn in order to prevent infection and permit healing. Debridement typically happens with the use of a sterile wash in a clinical setting.

Defibrillator: Machine used to deliver an electrical shock to the chest to stop ventricular fibrillation; it may be internal (implanted) or external.

Degenerative Disc Disease: The pathological process by which an intervertebral disc becomes progressively disrupted or damaged and fails in its functions.

Degenerative Joint Disease: Changes in the joint surfaces as a result of repetitive trauma. This generally causes symptoms due to the damage of the articulating surface of the bones within a joint.

Dehydration: A lack of an adequate amount of fluid in the body. This is often  accompanied by the following symptoms: dry mouth, thirst, constipation, concentrated urine or fever. Dehydration occurs when a person's body water content has decreased to a dangerously low level. Water accounts for 60% of a man's weight and 50% of a woman's. An athlete's performance can also decline dramatically when their level of dehydration reaches more than 2-4 percent.

Deltoid Ligament: Ligament that connects the tibia to bones of the medial aspect of the foot and is primarily responsible for stability of the ankle on the medial side.

Is sprained less frequently than other ankle ligaments.

Deltoid Muscle: Muscles at top of the arm, just below the shoulder. These muscles, often called the 'shoulders' are responsible for shoulder motions and rotation to the front, side, and back.

Diagnosis: Identification of a disease or disorder by a physician.

This is done via a variety of methods including visual and physical exam, imaging, blood work or other lab analysis, and assessing a person's history. 

Diaphragm Muscle: The thin muscular partition below the lungs and heart that separates the chest cavity from the abdominal cavity.

Diastole: Period during the heart cycle in which the muscle relaxes, followed by contraction (systole). In a blood pressure reading, the lower number is the diastolic measurement.

Diastolic Blood Pressure: The pressure of the blood in the main arteries which rises and falls as the muscles of the body cope with varying demands (e.g. exercise, stress, sleep). There are two types of pressure that are measured: 1) systolic pressure, created by the contraction of the heart muscle pushing blood into the vessels, and 2) diastolic pressure when the heart is at rest between beats. A reading of 120/80 is said to be the normal range. Blood pressure that is too high (hypertension) can cause health problems such as heart attacks and strokes.

Dilate: To expand or open a structure such as the pupil of the eye or a passageway such as an artery.

Dilated: Enlarged (as in pupils).

Disc, Intervertebral: A flat, rounded plate between each vertebra of the spine. The disc consists of a thick fiber ring which surrounds a soft gel-like interior. It functions as a cushion and shock absorber for the spinal column.

Dislocation: Complete displacement of joint surfaces.

Distal: Term referencing one anatomical term away from another; for example, the hand is distal to the elbow.

Dorsiflexion: Ankle motion such that the foot and toes are moved away from the ground in an upward fashion.

Dorsum: The back; the back surface of any part.

Dysfunction: Unable to function normally as a body organ or system.

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