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Medical Glossary - M

  • macroscopic trauma to the muscle
    Macroscopic Trauma is caused by a sudden forceful injury to the muscle. The traumatic forces occur over a brief period, often milliseconds, that are usually a single insult. Such a macroscopic trauma could occur during a whiplash injury, or as the result of a blunt injury from a fall, being struck by an object, or a back sprain from sudden lifting of a heavy object. All these examples are considered "obvious" traumas.

  • malingerophobia
    This is used to describe a situation in which doctors are so frightened of compensating malingerers that they are prepared to penalise the deserving majority.

  • marfan's syndrome
    This is an inherited condition of collagen tissue which may have minimal or even advantageous affects on the individual. At its extreme, it can be life threatening. As far as work related upper limb disorders are concerned laxjoints (doublejoints) may be present in those of unusually tall build, possessed of an arm spread greater than their height, which can lead to joint and posture problems. Marfan's is probably the term given to an extensive family including many different types of collagen disorders.

  • microscopic trauma to the muscle
    Microscopic Trauma occurs by a different mechanism from Macroscopic Trauma. It represents a more subtle, low-grade type of trauma that occurs over time from cumulative and repetitive actions on the muscles. There is no one "obvious" trauma, but a series of low-grade muscle insults that, over time, lead to pathological changes. Although individuals can often recall the exact moment of injury in macroscopic trauma, they will not usually remember any obvious single injury in microscopic trauma.

    Examples of microscopic trauma include shoulder strain in an assembly-line worker who has done a lot of reaching and pushing for several years, wrist strains in a secretary who spends hours a day typing, and neck strain in a school bus driver who looks in the overhead mirror to monitor what's going on inside the bus.

  • morbidity
    The condition of being diseased. The morbidity rate is the percentage of people who are affected by a particular condition.

  • mortality
    The death rate for a particular condition.

  • motor phenomena
    Loss of power in the hands and arms without any significant associated muscle wasting. It may also be associated with poor co-ordination, fatigue on repetitive movements, and loss of fine movements.

  • mri scans
    Magnetic Resonance Imaging. A non-invasive method of imaging the body and its organs. The body is placed in a magnetic field which causes certain atomic nuclei to align in the direction of the field. Pulses of radio frequency are then applied and interpretation of the frequencies absorbed and re-emitted allows an image of any body place to be built up.

  • musculo-skeletal
    This refers to the skeleton and soft tissue of the body and is a non specific term, often used when taking a medical history or carrying out a physical examination, to describe the condition of the patient's bones, muscles, tendons and nerves.

  • myalgia
    An abnormal state of the muscles characterised by pain and cramp.

  • myclopathy
    A degenerative condition of the muscles.

  • myofascial pain syndrome (mps)
    This describes a regional muscle pain disorder characterised by localised muscle tenderness and pain associated with a trigger point.

  • myofascial trigger points
    This is defined as a hyper irritable spot which is painful on compression and can give rise to referred pain, tenderness and autonomic phenomena.