physical agent

Also found in: Dictionary, Thesaurus, Legal, Encyclopedia.

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 ?
Integrating Physical Agents in Rehabilitation, Bernadette Hecox, Joseph Weisberg, Tsega Andemicael-Mehreteab, John Sanko (eds) 2006.
Included in the written program should be lists of hazardous chemicals, physical agents, and Materials Safety Data Sheet (MSDS) and Physical Agent Data Sheet (PADS) forms.
Currently, around 95% of remittances are cash-in, cash-out, with physical agents at either end for senders and recipients.
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:
Those substances include physical agents (such as particles and noise), biological agents (such as harmful bacteria), and chemicals (such as petroleum hydrocarbons, metals, and radon).
Jorge Herkovitz's article, "Evoecotoxicology: The Science Concerned with the Register in Living Organisms of the Interactions with Chemical and Physical Agents during the Evolutionary Process," is a bold article pointing out some new aspects of the organism-environment interaction during the evolutionary process, with implications for issues as diverse as embryology, ecology and metabolism.
It also criticised the Health and Safety Executive (HSE) and the Health Protection Agency (HPA) for failing to identify the potential impact of the EU Physical Agents (Electromagnetic Field) Directive before it was adopted in 2004.
The new Control of Noise at Work Regulations 2005 will come into force on April 6 next year, the result of an EU-led initiative--the Physical Agents (Noise) Directive.

Full browser ?