Spinal Glossary: R

  • radiculopathy: Impairment of a nerve root, usually causing radiating pain, numbness, tingling or muscle weakness that corresponds to a specific nerve root.
  • RCT (randomized clinical trial): A study to evaluate the safety and effectiveness of a medication or medical device by monitoring the effects on a large group of people. In this type of trial, the subjects are assigned by chance to the different treatments, or to a placebo.
  • RN (Registered Nurse): A health care professional responsible for assisting with the recovery and care of sick patients and maintaining their health.
  • ROM (range of motion): Refers to the direction and distance that a joint can move to its full potential. Expressed in degrees, the range of motion can vary from one specific joint to another.
  • Rheumatoid Arthritis: Rheumatoid arthritis is a chronic disease of certain joints in the body, with the potential to cause inflammation elsewhere in the body.
  • Ruptured Disc: Also known as a herniated disc, prolapsed disc or the misleading “slipped” disc, a ruptured disc is a deteriorated intervertebral disc in the spine.
  • resorption (as in disc resorption): The process by which the body naturally re-absorbs inner disc material that has extruded through a tear in the outer disc wall – a herniated disc. The immune system releases white blood cells to break down and absorb the gel-like inner disc material, allowing the disc wall to heal.
  • recovery time after surgery: The period of time after an operation necessary for the full healing process to take place and for the patient to regain strength and resume a normal lifestyle.
  • risk factors: Variables associated with an increased risk of developing a certain medical condition.