accessory movement

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(moov'ment) [Fr. fr L. movere, to move]
1. The act of passing from place to place or changing position of the body or its parts.
2. Bowel movement.

accessory movement

Joint play.

active movement

Voluntary movement of joints and muscles through their usual range of motion, accomplished without external assistance.

ameboid movement

Cellular movement like that of an ameba. A protoplasmic pseudopod extends, and then the remaining cell contents flow into the pseudopod, which swells gradually. This type of movement allows cells such as leukocytes to move through very small openings.
See: diapedesis

angular movement

The change in the joint position between long bones. Flexion, extension, abduction, and adduction are examples of angular movement.

associated movement

1. Synchronous correlation of two or more muscles or muscle groups that, although not essential for the performance of some function, normally accompany it, as the swinging of arms in normal walking. Associated movements are characteristically lost in cerebellar disease.
2. An involuntary movement in one limb accompanying a voluntary movement on the other side of the body.

autonomic movement

Spontaneous, involuntary movement independent of external stimulation.

bodily movement

Movement of a tooth by natural or orthodontic forces so that the crown and root maintain their same vertical axis.
See: rotational movement; tipping movement

bowel movement

Evacuation of feces from the gastrointestinal tract. The number of bowel movements varies in healthy individuals, some having a movement after each meal, others one in the morning and one at night, and still others only one in several days. Synonym: defecation


A persistent change in bowel habits should be investigated thoroughly because it may be a sign of cancer or inflammation in the gastrointestinal tract.

Bloody bowel movements may be caused by a variety of lesions in the upper or lower gastrointestinal tracts, including hemorrhoids, anal fissures, dysentery, bleeding diverticuli, arteriovenous malformations, inflammatory bowel diseases (such as ulcerative colitis), or cancers. Black (melenic) bowel movements may result from bleeding in the upper gastrointestinal tract but may be mimicked by other conditions, e.g., the use of iron supplements or bismuth-containing medications. Clay-colored stools are often seen in biliary obstruction. Constipation with a decrease in the caliber of stools may indicate a malignant obstruction of the large intestine.

Patient care

A history is obtained of the patient's usual bowel habits, and any change is documented. The patient is questioned and the stool is inspected for color, shape, odor, consistency, and other characteristics, as well as the presence of any unusual coatings or contents (mucus, blood, fat, parasites). Privacy is provided for the patient when using a bed pan, toilet, or bedside commode. The area should be ventilated or a deodorant spray used after the bowel movement to limit the patient's embarrassment and to reduce the discomfort of others sharing the area. The patient is taught the importance of fluid intake, diet, and activity to help prevent constipation, supportive therapies for diarrhea, and the importance of hand hygiene after toileting. The rationale for testing the stool for occult blood or other laboratory studies, if this is required, is explained.

brownian movement

The oscillatory movement of particles resulting from chance bombardment by other particles.

cardinal movements of labor

Changes in the position of the fetal head, occurring with a vertex presentation, as it descends through the birth canal and exits the mother's body. The cardinal movements are: engagement, descent, flexion, internal rotation, extension, external rotation and expulsion.
See: Cardinal Movements at Birth - step 5

ciliary movement

Rhythmic movement of the cilia of a ciliated cell or epithelium. Synonym: vibratile movement

circus movement

1. A phenomenon appearing after injury to a corpus striatum, optic thalamus, or crus cerebri, and causing an odd circular gait.
2. In cardiac rhythm disturbances caused by re-entry, the conduction of electrical activity cyclically through tissue, a process that continues indefinitely as long as the tissue ahead of the electrical wave has adequate time to recover before the electrical stimulus reappears. The movement occurs because of a conduction block in one limb of a circuit, in which the electrical impulse is permitted to travel in only one direction.

decreased fetal movement

A mother's perception that her fetus is less active than usual. It may be monitored by assessing the number of fetal kicks in a specified time.

doll's eye movement

Oculocephalic reflex.

fetal movement

Muscular movements performed by the fetus in utero.

gliding movement

Movement of one surface over another without angular or rotatory movement, as well. This type of movement occurs in the temporomandibular joint after opening when the condyles and disks move forward, as in protrusion of the jaw.

hinge movement

Movement in a joint around a transverse axis, as occurs in the lower compartment of the temporomandibular joints at the beginning of jaw opening when the occluding teeth are separated or in the final stage of wide opening of the mouth.

independent living movement

Any of the societal programs that support a philosophy of full participation, self-reliance, and social inclusion of people with functional impairment. Emphasis on self-help, interdependence, environmental accessibility, freedom of choice, and programs to enable community living characterize this movement.

jaw movement

Movement of the mandible.
See: gliding movement; hinge movement

masticatory movement

One of the movements of the jaw that results in the cutting and grinding of food. It may involve unilateral chewing, alternating bilateral chewing according to the learned automatic pattern of activity, or consciously initiated movements.

molecular movement

The rotational, translational, and vibrational movement of molecules, primarily as a function of absolute temperature. The higher the temperature, the greater the movement, i.e., the greater the kinetic energy).
See: brownian movement

orthodontic movement

Movement of teeth and bone produced by orthodontic appliances.

passive movement

Passive motion.

pendular movements

Swaying movements of the intestines caused by rhythmic contractions of the longitudinal muscles of the walls of the intestines.

peristaltic movement


physiological movement

A movement normally executed by muscles under voluntary control (e.g., flexion, extension, abduction, adduction, and rotation).
Synonym: physiological motion

physiological tooth movement

Mesial drift.

purposeful movement

Motor activity requiring the planned and consciously directed involvement of the patient. It is hypothesized that evoking cortical involvement in movement patterns during sensorimotor rehabilitation will enhance the development of coordination and voluntary control.

rapid eye movement

Abbreviation: REM
Cyclic movement of the closed eyes observed or recorded during sleep.

relaxed movement

Passive exercise.

respiratory movement

Any movement resulting from the contraction of respiratory muscles or occurring passively as a result of elasticity of the thoracic wall or lungs.
See: compliance (1); expiration; inspiration; respiration

movement of restitution

restitution (3)

rotational movement

Movement around an axis, as in hinge movement of the temporomandibular joint or rotation of a tooth around its longitudinal axis in tooth movement or extraction.
See: bodily movement; tipping movement

saccadic movements

Jerky movements of the eyes as they move from one point of fixation to another.

segmenting movement

Movement of the intestine in which annular constrictions occur, dividing the intestine into ovoid segments.

tipping movement

Movement of a tooth crown while the root apex remains essentially stationary, resulting in an inclination of the axis of the tooth in one direction.
See: bodily movement; rotational movement

tooth movement

The change in position of a tooth or teeth in the dental arch. This may be due to abnormal pressure from the tongue, pathological changes in tooth-supporting structures, malocclusion, missing teeth, or a therapeutic orthodontic procedure. Thumb sucking, if prolonged, may cause malocclusion and, eventually, displacement of teeth.
See: pathological tooth migration; physiological tooth migration

transitive movement

Any movement in which physical objects, such as tools or utensils, are employed. Using a bottle-opener, carving a turkey, brushing the teeth, and drinking from a glass are all examples of transitive movement.

triplanar movement

Movement occurring around an oblique axis in all three body planes.

vermicular movement

The wormlike movements of peristalsis.

vibratile movement

Ciliary movement.
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