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Medical Glossary - P

  • painful arch syndrome
    This is a clinical syndrome characterised by pain in the shoulder and upper arm during abduction of the arm, with freedom from pain at the extremes of the range of movements. With the arm dependent the pain is absent but during abduction of the arm pain begins at about 45 degrees and persists through the arch of movement to about 160 degrees when it lessens or disappears. It can be caused by a number of different lesions to the shoulder muscles or joint capsule.

  • peritendinitis
    This is a typical reaction to repetitive movements of the wrist or hand and is a type of frictional tenosynovitis. Those tendons most affected are those of the deep muscles at the back of the forearm especially the extensors of the thumb and the radial extensors of the wrist. The pain appears after a period of unusual use of the hand or wrist and there is often a mild inflammatory reaction with swelling above the tendon and its coverings. On examination there may be localised swelling in the line of the affected tendons and a fine crepitation is felt over the area of inflammation.

  • phelan's test
    Moving the wrist off neutral causes paraesthesia (pins and needles) in the distribution of the median nerve as in carpal tunnel syndrome.

  • poore g.v dr
    Physician at University College, London. Wrote about writer's cramp in 1877.

  • prescribed industrial disease
    This is a condition which has been prescribed by the Industrial Injuries Advisory Council. Work related upper limb disorders may be prescribed as industrial disease but where the Council considers it could be caused by activities outside the workplace - and is not necessarily related to specific occupations - the injury is not prescribed. For example, tennis elbow' (epicondylitis of the humerus) and 'frozen shoulder' (rotator cuff syndrome) in the Council's opinion are not pre- scribed as they are common in the general population and there is insufficient evidence to link them with specific occupational groups. Similarly, carpal tunnel syndrome is not covered. Disablement benefit may be paid only if work induced tenosynovitis has previously been diagnosed or if carpal tunnel syndrome arises from the use of hand held vibrating tools.

  • psycho-social phenomena
    An unspecific term often used where an upper limb problem is thought not to be organic but to be related to the psychological state of the individual.