physical agent

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phys·i·cal a·gent

(fiz'i-kăl ā'jĕnt)
A form of acoustic, aqueous, electrical, mechanical, thermal, or light energy applied to living tissues in a systematic manner to alter physiologic processes, in conjunction with or for therapeutic purposes.
See also: modality


pertaining to the body, to material things, or to physics.

physical agent
the physical causes of disease. Includes altitude, radiation, wetness, exercise, fire, electricity including lightning.
physical diagnosis
a preliminary diagnosis made solely on the basis of a physical examination. Often all that is possible in private practice.
physical examination
examination of the bodily state of a patient by ordinary physical means, as inspection, palpation, percussion and auscultation.
physical exhaustion
see physical exhaustion.
physical findings
results of a physical examination. Observations made visually, by auscultation, palpation, smell, percussion, succussion and ballottement.
physical fitness
quality of being able to perform physically, to turn in a good physical performance. Best tested by performance but in horses can be vaguely predicted by a series of tests including hemoglobin content of blood, heart size, duration of the QRS interval on an ECG, and low levels of muscle enzymes in blood.
physical insults
physical agencies that cause disease. These include trauma, stress (physical as in stress fracture of long bones in horses), hyperthermia (as a cause of congenital defects), persistent wetting, high altitude, lightning stroke, electrocution, bushfire and fire injury, volcanic eruption and exposure to radiation.
physical map
in genetics, determination of the array of genes within a DNA segment of a chromosome.
physical restraint
the use of halters, collars and chains, ropes, harness, twitches of various sorts, squeeze cages, hog holders, dog catchers and many more devices. As distinct from the use of analeptic agents—chemical restraint.
physical stress
see stress.
physical therapist
one who is skilled in the physical and therapeutic techniques of helping to alleviate suffering from muscle, nerve, joint and bone diseases and from injuries and to overcome or prevent disabilities. Among the procedures used by the physical therapist are exercise to increase strength, endurance, coordination, and range of motion; electrical stimulation to activate paralyzed muscles; massage, vibrators and many other patented devices to try to improve the circulation and condition of a part. Called also physiotherapist.
References in periodicals archive ?
Despite this it covers most modalities that are currently used in hospital or private practice in New Zealand and represents a sound entry level reference book to physical agents and other rehabilitation modalities such as hydrotherapy.
One approach to this problem involves the study of intelligent physical agents, agents that can operate in the physical world with all its uncertainty yet behave intelligently, making decisions about how best to perform simple and complex tasks in a range of real-world environments.
Environmental metrological techniques can be delimited with greater clarity than non-environmental techniques, as they are circumscribed to the assessment of risk factors of occupational exposure to chemical, biological and physical agents.
The jury is still out on this one, but this year has seen revised guidelines from the International Committee on Non-Ionising Radiation Protection (ICNIRP), a monograph from the International Agency for Research on Cancer and a revised version of the EU Physical Agents Directive on EMFs and occupational health, 2004/40/EC.
Physical agents (pa) provide connectivity and real time communication with Sensor network (SN) and End effectors (EE).
These hazards may include chemical agents and solvents, heavy metals such as lead and mercury, physical agents such as loud noise or vibration, and physical hazards such as electricity or dangerous machinery.
These assessments will be published as Volume 102 of the IARC Monographs, which will be the fifth volume in this series to focus on physical agents, after Volume 55 (Solar Radiation), Volume 75 and Volume 78 on ionizing radiation (X rays, gamma rays, neutrons, radio nuclides), and Volume 80 on non?
The Physical Agents (Electromagnetic Fields) Directive was originally drafted in 2006, but the Health and Safety Executive has confirmed that it will not now be in place until at least 2014.
As per the Foundation for Intelligent Physical Agents (FIPA), the agent definition is:
Physical agents are devices using physical modalities to produce beneficial therapeutic effects.
Drawing from an international collaboration by 25 health and research agencies and institutions, the report summarizes recommendations and broaches key topics pertaining to several chemicals, metals, dusts, and physical agents for which there is widespread human exposure, predominantly in occupational settings.
These "laws", applicable to chemical and physical agents, are:

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