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Ergonomics glossary

In the blog article you will find a handy glossary of commonly used terms in Ergonomics . It is a useful overview to quickly gain insight into the most important concepts!

Hernia:
Is a condition of the back (back hernia) or the neck (neck hernia) in which the intervertebral disc bulges. In medicine, this condition is often abbreviated to HNP. This can cause nerve compression, causing severe pain, or even nerve failure, resulting in loss of muscle function (for example, inability to pull the foot towards the shin) or a 'numb' feeling. The pain can be mild, but also so severe that the patient can only move on all fours.

Lumbago :
Lumbago or slough is a form of lower back pain that can sometimes radiate to the buttocks, thighs and legs, but not below the knee: if it does, it is sciatica or hernia. Sometimes back pain is caused by specific treatable diseases.

Lumbago may be accompanied by other symptoms such as back stiffness (pain and tightness when moving the spine).

RSI:
Is a collective name for all kinds of complaints that are related to repeatedly performing the same, sometimes small and not strenuous movements over a long period of time. Conditions associated with RSI include bursitis and tendinitis.

Arthrosis:
In medicine, it is the name of a condition affecting the cartilage in joints.

Osteoarthritis is also colloquially known as joint wear and tear. Osteoarthritis occurs because more articular cartilage is lost than can be produced by the body. The cartilage deteriorates and sometimes disappears completely. With osteoarthritis, the fluid in the joint also decreases. This fluid, called synovium, is needed to allow the joint to rotate smoothly and to absorb shock. Due to wear and tear of articular cartilage and a reduction in the shock-absorbing fluid in the joints, bones can rub against each other, causing a lot of pain. Osteoarthritis mainly occurs in the joints of the hands, knees, shoulders, neck and hips. Everyone over the age of sixty actually suffers from a radiographically noticeable degree of osteoarthritis; sometimes it starts at a significantly younger age.

Arthritis:
Is an inflammation of the joints that can be caused by rheumatic diseases (e.g. rheumatoid arthritis), injuries or bacterial infection (septic arthritis).

Arthritis is distinguished from osteoarthritis: painful joints due to wear and tear, without inflammation. Confusingly, the latter condition is called osteoarthritis in English.

Facet joints:
These are movable joints of the spine that connect the vertebrae. The spine would be completely rigid without facet joints. We could only walk upright and move very stiffly.

The facet joints can become inflamed due to injury or arthritis, causing pain and stiffness. When the facet joints are affected, it usually causes pain, not only at the site of the facet joint, but also radiating to the head, shoulders, buttocks and legs. To reduce pain, a doctor may prescribe a facet joint block.

Discus:
An intervertebral disc is found in the spinal column between two separate vertebrae. Intervertebral discs consist of a ring of fibrocartilage with a jelly-like core in the middle. They are slightly elastic and thus contribute to shock absorption. A hernia of the back is caused by damage to the intervertebral disc.

Scoliosis:
Is a lateral curvature of the back (spine), causing one or two bends.

It occurs to a more or less serious degree in 4 out of 100 people. The spine usually also rotates around its axis (this is referred to as torsional scoliosis) and thus causes a hunchback.

Lordosis:
Is a natural curvature of the spine in an anteroposterior direction. With lordosis, the convex side of the spine is directed forward. Lordoses are found in the cervical and lumbar spine. With a strong lordosis in the lumbar area we speak of a "hollow back".

Natural curvature :
If you look at your spine from the side, you will see a double S-shape or 3 curves:

a concave curvature in your neck (= cervical lordosis)
a convex curvature at the level of your thoracic vertebrae (= thoracic kyphosis)
a slight concave curvature in your lower back (= lumbar lordosis).
At the very bottom you also have your sacrum. Some claim that this forms a 4th curvature in your spine, but this is slightly less important.

More importantly, these curves provide a compromise between stability, resilience and dexterity.

And you notice that 'keeping your back straight' is not quite right. Your back is at its strongest in its natural 'hollow-hollow' position

Synchronous mechanization:
The synchronous mechanism combines a movement of the backrest with a corresponding movement of the seat. The movement of the backrest is greater than that of the seat.

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