Osteopathic Practice
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Glossaries, Dictionaries, and Other
Reference Guides

My goal in creating this collection of links to professional glossaries and dictionaries is to provide scholars with easy access to definitions of terms that often overlap between many different professions that perform hands-on work. I hope that these reference guides will help interested professionals to connect with one another and recognize how much we have in common rather than how each of us separately profess to own the “truth.”

Glossary of Osteopathic Terminology

The Glossary of Osteopathic Terminology (pdf) is the official American “dictionary” of Osteopathic technical words and phrases. This latest version was last updated in 2009. New versions of the Glossary are published every 3-5 years.

Medical Dictionary

Most of the terms used by American DOs are the same as those used by MDs. I have included one of the online Medical Dictionaries as a reference for standard, orthodox medical terms.

Dunglison’s Dictionary of Medical Sciences

Andrew Taylor Still referred to Dunglison’s Dictionary in several of his books. I have provided links to the 1876 and 1893 editions of the 19th century versions of this important medical dictionary. Osteopathic historians will find these out-of-print reference books helpful in defining antiquated medical terms found in 19th century Osteopathic textbooks.

Glossary of Biomechanical Terms used in
Physical Therapy

I have included this very technical and mathematical Glossary of Biomechanical Terms (pdf) because most of the principles of biomechanics used by DOs, MDs, and PTs are the same.

Physical Therapy Dictionary

This online Physical Therapy Dictionary offers a set of definitions of standard Physical Therapy terms that are very different than those found in Osteopathy.

Glossary of Spinal Deformity Biomechanical Terms

This interesting Glossary of Spinal Deformity has some value for those DOs who are interested in spinal mechanics and spinal deformities.

Glossary of Alternative Medicine

Osteopathy is generally not included in discussions of alternative medicine. I think that Osteopathy should be included and fits well with many of the principles of alternative medicine. Since many terms found in this Glossary of Alternative Medicine overlap with Osteopathy, I think it is helpful to include it in this list of glossaries and dictionaries.

Glossary of Chiropractic Terminology

Two versions of a Chiropractic Glossary of Terms are available online. I include these Chiropractic Glossaries because the Chiropractic profession utilizes terms that overlap with Osteopathic Medicine and often terms become linked but may have different definitions. I am unable to find an official Glossary of Chiropractic Terms that is published by a professional society, so I am including what I believe are two of the best online collections of Chiropractic terminology.

Chiropractic Glossary #1

Chiropractic Glossary #2