Medical Mnemonics for Physical Therapy

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As a physical therapist, there is a great deal of information to remember. It can be difficult to keep track of it all. As a result, people have come up with many tricks over the years to help them remember various pieces of information that are related to physical therapy, anatomy, and other related topics. One such trick is to use ‘mnemonics’; specifically, medical mnemonics.

What are medical mnemonics?

Medical mnemonics are word tricks that help you to remember medical terms and concepts.

Carpal Tunnel SyndromeCauses: TENS

Trauma (eg, Colles’ fracture, daily overuse at typing keyboard)

Endocrinopathy (ie, pregnancy, hypothyroidism, diabetes mellitus, acromegaly)

Neurological (C5-C6 disk herniation can mimic a CTS)

Synovitis (eg, rheumatoid arthritis)

Signs of Compartment Syndrome (Ischemic Injury): P^6

Passive stretching causes severe pain (moat reliable sign)




Poor capillary refill

Pulselessness (late sign)

Epiphyseal Injury, Salter-Harris Classification: SALTER

Type I: Straight through the epiphyseal growth plate

Type II: Above the epiphyseal growth plate (ie, in a fragment of metaphysis attached to the epiphysis)

Type III: Lower (ie, through and below the epiphyseal growth plate)

Type IV: Through the epiphysis and metaphysis

Type V: Emergency (ie, crush of the epiphyseal growth plate)