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
See also: modality
pertaining to the body, to material things, or to physics.
the physical causes of disease. Includes altitude, radiation, wetness, exercise, fire, electricity including lightning.
a preliminary diagnosis made solely on the basis of a physical examination. Often all that is possible in private practice.
examination of the bodily state of a patient by ordinary physical means, as inspection, palpation, percussion and auscultation.
see physical exhaustion.
results of a physical examination. Observations made visually, by auscultation, palpation, smell, percussion, succussion and ballottement.
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 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.
in genetics, determination of the array of genes within a DNA segment of a chromosome.
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.
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.