This column originally appeared in the Spring, 2000 issue of TRIUMPH.
I was reading the article “Pain and Post-Polio Syndrome” by Dr. Peach in the Fall, 1999 issue of the Triumph and came across some words I didn’t understand. Could you explain the meaning of these words in your next column?
Signed, Wondering in Weymouth
Wonder no more. The first word on your list is myogenic. The prefix myo- is from the Greek word for muscle. Myogenic means originating in or coming from muscle.* In the context of the article, myogenic pain would mean the source of the pain is muscular. Fasciculation: Muscles are composed of these bundles of fibers called fasciculi. A fasciculation occurs when a bundle of fibers contracts involuntarily.* In other words, it is a muscle twitch. Supraspinatus: Supraspinatus is the name of a muscle. It originates on the shoulder blade (scapula) and attaches to the top of the arm bone (humerus). It is part of the rotator cuff. Injury to this muscle is a common cause of shoulder pain.
Nerve compression syndrome: A syndrome is a group of symptoms that usually occur together. In this case, the symptoms would be caused when a nerve is injured by being squeezed or compressed. Carpal tunnel syndrome is an example of a nerve compression syndrome. Radiculopathy: The prefix radiculo- is from the Latin word for root.* Our nerves begin as nerve roots near the spinal cord. Radiculopathy refers to the symptoms resulting from compression of a nerve root as it travels between the bones in the spine (vertebra) on its way to the arm or leg.
*According to Stedman’s Medical Dictionary.