Abbreviations in physiotherapy


Abbreviations assist healthcare professionals to make effective use of their time. These abbreviations should be recognised and agreed upon in order to ensure best practice.

Abbreviations[1][2][3] :


Centimeter  cm
Gram  g 
Kilocalorie  kcal
Kilogram  Kg
Litre  L
Milligram  mg
Millilitre  ml
Millimetre  mm
Millimole  Mmol

Frequency and time:

b.d./b.i.d. Twice daily
Mane In the morning
Nocte At night
p.r.n. When required
q.d.s./q.i.d. Four times daily
STAT Immediately
Tarde In the evening
t.d.s./t.i.d. Three times daily
h Hour
Mins. Minute
s second
x/12 x Months
x/52 x weeks

Routes of Administration:

IV Intravenously
IM Intramuscularly
NG Nasogastric
PEG Percutaneous Endoscopic Gastrotomy
PO Per Oral (oral by mouth)
PV Per vaginal
SC Subcutaneously
PR Per Rectum
SL Sublingually

Never abbreviate:

Patient's resuscitation status
Drug names
Right OR Left Except when used as part of an approved abbreviation
+++, >, < Avoided unless used as part of an official grading system
+ve, -ve Can use Pos. and Neg. instead

Patient/Service users name

No abbreviations on a consent form
No abbreviations on an incident report


  1. Dizziness,
  2. diplopia,
  3. drop attacks,
  4. dysorthria,
  5. dysphagia
9HPT Nine Hole 


A&A Aids and Appliances
AAA Abdominal Aortic Aneurysm
ABD abduction

Arterial blood gas

ACL anterior cruciate ligament
ACTH adrenocorticotropic hormone
ACS Acute coronary syndrome
ADD adduction
ADAPT additive activities profile test
ADL activities of daily living
ADS alternative delivery system
AFO ankle foot orthosis
AIDS acquired immune deficiency syndrome
ASIS Anterior superior iliac spine
AJ ankle jerk
AK above knee
ALS amyotrophic lateral sclerosis
ANS autonomic nervous system
AMA against medical advice
Ant anterior
AP anterior-posterior
AAV AIDS-associated virus
AAL Anterior axillary line
Ab Antibody
AB Apex beat
ACE Angiotensin converting enzyme
ADH Anti-diuretic hormone
ADHD Attention deficit hyperactivity disorder
AF Atrial fibrillation
AFB Acid fast bacilli
ANOVA analysis of variance
ANCOVA analysis of covariance


BE below elbow
BK below knee
BOS base of support
BP blood pressure
bpm beats per minute


C1-7 Cervical vertebrae 1-7
CABG Coronary artery bypass graft
CAD Coronary artery disease
Cal Calorie
CBC Complete blood count
CCA Common carotid artery
CCU Coronary care unit
CES Cauda equina syndrome
CFS Chronic fatigue syndrome
CHB Complete heart block
CHD Congenital heart disease
Chol Cholesterol
CHF Congestive heart failure
CMV Cytomegalo virus
c/o Complains of
CO Cardiac output
CO2 Carbon dioxide
COAD Chronic ostructive airways disease
COB Chronic obstructive bronchitis
C0/C1 Atlanto-axial joint
COPD Chronic obstructive pulmonary disease
CPAP Continuous positive airway pressure
CPB/CPBP Cardiopulmonary bypass
CPD Cephalopelvic disproportion
CPM continuous passive motion machine
CPR Cardio-pulmonary resuscitation
creps Crepitations
CREST(syndrome) abbreviation for calcinosis, Raynaud's phenomenon, esophageal dysfunction, sclerodactyly, and telangiectasis
CRF Chronic renal failure
CRHD Chronic rheumatic heart disease
CSF Cerebrospinal fluid
CT Computerised tomography
CTS Carpal tunnel syndrome
CVP Central venous pressure
CVS Cardiovascular system
CNS central nervous system


DASH Disability of arm, shoulder, hand
D/C Discharge
DDx Differential diagnosis
DD Dangerous drugs
DDD Degenerative disc disorder
Dec Decreased
DF Dorsiflexion
DHS Dynamic hip screw
DI Diabetes Insipidus
DIU Death in-utero
DJD Degenerative joint disease
DM Diabetes mellitus
DOB Date of birth
DOE Dyspnoea on exertion
D&C dilation and curettage


ECG Electrocardiogram
EEG electroencephalogram, electroencephalograph
EMG electromyogram, electromyography
Ex's exercises
EOR End of range
Exp Expiratory
Ext Extension
ECU environmental control unit


FBS fasting blood sugar
FH family history
Fx Fracture
FVC Forced vital capacity
FWB Full weight bearing
F/U Follow up
FTD Full term delivery
FSH Follicle stimulating hormone
FRC Functional residual capacity
Flex Flexion
FIM Functional independence measure
FHS Foetal heart sounds
FHR Foetal heart rate
FFA Free fatty acids
FEV Forced expiratory volume
FEV1 Forced expiratory volume in one second
FET Forced expiratory technique
FES Functional electrical stimulation
FAS fetal alcohol syndrome


GA General anaesthetic
GCS Glasgow coma scale
GDM Gestational diabetes mellitus
GFR Glomerular filtration rate
GFSH Growth factor stimulating hormone
GH Growth hormone
GIT Gastrointestinal tract
GMFCS Gross Motor Function Classification Scale
GRF Ground reaction force
GRH Growth releasing hormone
GTT Glucose tolerance test
GSW gunshot wound
GSR galvanic skin response


Hb Haemoglobin
HAD Hospital Anxiety and Depression Scale
HIV Human immunodeficiency virus
HIVD Herniated intervertebral disc
HMD Hyaline membrane disease
H/O, HO History of
HR Heart rate
HPV Human papilloma virus
HRT Hormone replacement therapy
HS Heart sounds
H Sit. High sitting
HSV Herpes simplex virus
Ht Height
HTLV Human T-cell lymphotropic virus
HTN Hypertension
Hx History
HGH Human growth hormone
Hep A, B, C Hepatitis A, B, C etc
HEP Home exercise program
HDL High density lipoprotein
HCVD Hypertensive cardiovascular disease
HCV Hepatitis C virus
H&C HHuff and cough
HI Head injury
HBV Hepatitis B Virus
HBH hand behind head
HBB Hand behind back


Ig Immunoglobulin
IE Inspiratory:expiratory (ratio)
ICU Intensive Care Unit
ICS Intercostal space
ICP Intracranial pressure
ICD Intercostal drain
ICA  Internal carotid artery
IC Informed consent
IFT Interferential therapy
Inf. Inferior 
IOP Intraocular pressure
Int. Internal 
Insp. Inspiratory 
IMV Intermittent mandatory ventilation
IMT Isometric muscle testing
IHD Ischaemic heart disease
Inv. Inversion
IPPV Intermittent positive pressure ventilation
IPPR Intermittent positive pressure respiration
IVC Inferior vena cava
IPPB Intermittent positive pressure breathing 
IFC interferential current
IVSD Interventricular septal defect
IVD Intervertebral disc
IUGR Intrauterine growth retardation
IR internal rotation
IRDS Infant respiratory distress syndrome
IRQ Inner range quadriceps 
IUFD Intrauterine foetal death
IRV Inspiratory reserve volume
ISC Intermittent self catheterisation
IST Infraspinatus tendon 
ISWT Incremental Shuttle Walk Test
IUD Intrauterine death
IUCD Intrauterine contraceptive device
I/T Intermittent 
I/T C Tx Intermittent cervical traction
I/T L Tx Intermittent lumbar traction


JCA -Juvenile chronic arthritis JCA -Juvenile chronic arthritis
JDM -Juvenile diabetes mellitus JDM -Juvenile diabetes mellitus
JRA Juvenile rheumatoid arthritis
jt joint
JVP jagular venous pressure


KJ knee jerk
K wire Kirschner wire
KAFO knee ankle foot orthosis


L 1-5 Lumbar vertebrae 1-5
lat lateral
LBE Lateral basal expansion
LA Local anaesthic
LBP Low back pain 
LBW Low birth weight
LCA Left coronary artery
LCCS Low cervical caesarean section
LCL Lateral collateral ligament 
LCM Left costal margin
LCx Left circumflex
LDDD Lumbar degenerative disc disorder
LDL Low-Density-Lipoprotein type
LFA Left femoral artery
LFTs Liver function tests
LGA Large for gestational age
LH Luteinising hormone
LHF Left heart failure
LICS Left intercostal space
LIF Left iliac fossa
Ligs. Ligaments
LOC Loss of consciousness
LOW Loss of weight
LP Lumbar puncture
IRTI Lower respiratory tract infection
LS Lumbosacral
LTHR Left total hip replacement
LMN lower motor neuron
LMNL lower motor neuron lesion
LOS length of stay
LTG long term goal



MAP mean arterial pressure
MED minimal erythemal dose
MAS Motor assessment scale
Max. Maximum
MCA Middle cerebral artery
MCP Metacarpophalangeal
MD Muscular dystrophy
MI myocardial infarction
MDI Metered dose inhaler
Meds Medications
Med. Medial
MGTT Modified glucose tolerance test
MHI Manual hyperinflation
Mhz Megahertz
MMSE Mini mental state examination
MMT Manual muscle testing 
MND Motor neurone disease
MRI Magnetic resonance imaging
MRP Motor relearning programme
MTP Metatarsophalangea
MVA Motor vehicle accident
MVD Mitral valve disease
movt. Movement
Mx - Management
MS multiple sclerosis
MCL medial collateral ligament



NBM Nil By Mouth
NAD No abnormality detected
NCV Nerve conduction study
Neb. Nebuliser/nebulised
NIBP Non-invasive blood pressure
NICU Neonatal intensive care unit
NIDDM Not insulin dependent diabetes mellitus
NIHSS National Institute of Health Stroke Scale 
NIMV Non invasive mask ventilation
NIPV Non invasive pressure ventilation
NOF Neck of femur
NOH Neck of humerus
NP Non productive
NWB Non weight bearing
NSMDA Neurosensory Motor Developmental Assessment
NDT neurodevelopmental treatment



O2 - Oxygen
O: - Objective
OPD - Outpatients Department
Ortho. - Orthopaedics
ORQ Outer range quadriceps
OA – osteoarthritis
OB – obstetrics
ORIF – open reduction, internal fixation


P – poor (used in muscle testing)
P: - plan
Paed Paediatrics
palp. - Palpitations
PA – posterior/anterior
para – paraplegia
PCL – posterior cruciate ligament
PEEP – positive end expiratory pressure
PF – plantar flexion
PNF – proprioceptive neuromuscular facilitation
PNI – peripheral nerve injury
POMR – problem-oriented medical record
post. – posterior
post-op – after surgery
PRE – progressive resistive exercise
pre-op – before operation
PROM – passive range of motion
PROME – passive range of motion exercise
PSIS – posterior superior iliac spine
PTB – patellar tendon bearing
PVD – peripheral vascular disease
PWB – partial weight bearing
PDA - Patent ductus arteriosus
PDMS - Peabody Developmental Motor Scale 
PDx - Provisional diagnosis
PE - Physical examination
PEDI - Paediatric Evaluation of Disability Inventory 
PEEP - Positive end expiratory pressure 
PEFR - Peak expiratory flow rate
PENS - Percutaneous electrical nerve stimulator
PF - Patellofemoral
PFR - Peak flow rate
PFT - Pulmonary function test
PFx - Pelvic floor exercises 
PGH - Pituitary growth hormone
PICA - Posterior inferior cerebral artery
PIP Proximal interphalangeal
PIVD - Prolapsed intervertebral disc
PKB - Prone knee bend


quad. Quadraplegia
quads. Quadriceps


ROM  Range Of Movement
RA Rheumatoid arthritis
Rehab – rehabilitation
RDS - Respiratory distress syndrome
REIL Repeated extension in lying 
REIS - Repeated extension in sitting&nbsp
RFIL - Repeated flexion in lying
RFIS - Repeated flexion in standing
REM - Rapid eye movement
rep. - Repeated 
Resp. - Respiratory
ret. Retraction
Rh -ve - Rhesus factor negative
Rh +ve - Rhesus factor positive
RHD - Rheumatic heart disease
RHF - Right heart failure
RIP - Raised intracranial pressure
RJ - Radial jerk
R-J - Robert Jones (bandage)
R/O - Removal of
rot. - Rotation
RR - Respiratory rate
RTI - Respiratory tract infection
RVF - Right ventricular failure
RVH - Right ventricular hypertrophy



SA Node Sinoatrial Node
S1-5 Sacral vertebrae (1-5)
SaO2 - Oxygen saturation
SAFG - Short arm fibreglass (cast)
SAPOP - Short arm plaster of paris
SAH - Subarachnoid haemorrhage
SDH - Subdural haemorrhage/haematoma
S/E - Subjective examination
SFL/R - Side flexion left/right
SGIS - Side glide in standing 
Sh. - Shoulder
SIJ - Sacro-iliac joint
SL - Side lying
SLAP - Superior labrum anterior-posterior lesion
SLE - Systemic lupus erythematosus
SLFG - Short leg fibreglass (cast)
SLPOP - Short leg plaster of Paris 
SLR - Straight leg raising 
SLS - Single leg stand
SMI - Sustained maximal inspiration
Sn - Suction
Spiro. - Spirometry
SPS - Single point stick 
Sput. - Sputum
SQ - Static quadriceps
s-s - Side to side
SST - Supraspinatus tendon
STM - Short term memory
STML - Short term memory loss
STR - Soft tissue release
Strep. - Streptococcus
subcut. - Subcutaneous
subj. - Subjective
Subscap. - Subscapularis (tendon)
Sup. - Supination
Sub US - Subaquatic ultrasound
SVC - Superior vena cava

sx surgery
SACH – solid ankle cushion heel
SCI – spinal cord injury
SC jt. – sternoclavicular joint
SED – suberythemal dose
SOAP – subjective, objective, assessment, plan
SOB – shortness of breath
STG – short term goal
sup. – superior


Temp Temperature
TENS - Transcutaneous electrical nerve stimulation
TEV Talipes equinovarus&nbsp
TFA Transfemoral amputation&nbsp
TFL Tensor fasciae latae
TFT Thyroid function tests
T/F Transfer
TG Triglycerides
Tx - Traction
THA Total hip arthroplasty
THR Total hip replacement
TIA Transient ischaemic attack
TKA Total knee arthroplasty
TKR Total knee replacement
TLR Tonic labyrinthine reflex
TMJ temporomandibular joint
TNR tonic neck reflex
TMT - Tarsometatarsal
TOP - Termination of pregnancy
TORCH(complex) - Toxoplasmosis, rubella, cytomegalovirus and herpes simplex
TPP - Time, place and person
TPR - Temperature, pulse and respiration
TrA - Transversus abdominis 
tract. - Traction
traps. - Trapezius
TRH Thyrotropin-releasing hormone
TSH Thyroid stimulating hormone
TTA Transtibial amputation
TV Tidal volume
TBW Tension band wiring
TBI Traumatic brain injury
TA Tendoachilles
TB Tuberculosis
T1-12 - Thoracic vertebrae (1-12)


UVR Ultraviolet radiation
US U/S Ultra sound
URTI Upper respiratory tract infection
URT Upper respiratory tract
UPDRS Unified Parkinson's Rating Scale
U/O Urine output
UMNL upper motor neuron lesion
UMN Upper motor neuron
UL Upper limb
ULTT Upper limb tension test
ULTT1-3 Upper limb tension test 1-3


VAS Visual Analogue Scale
VBI Vertebrobasilar insufficiency
VC Vital capacity
VEP Visual evoked potential
VF Ventricular fibrillation


Ventilatory function test
VHD Valvular heart disease
vibs/vibes. Vibrations
Vit. Vitamin
VSD Ventricular septal defect
VS Vital signs


WB Weight bearing
W/C Wheelchair
W/cm² Watts per centimetre squared
wk week
Wt Weight
2WF Two-wheeled frame
4WF Four-wheeled frame
Wee-FIM Paediatric functional independence measure
WNL Within normal limits
w/o Without



y/o Years old
yr/s Year/Years


ZF Zimmer Frame


  1. Wikipedia. List of medical abbreviations. Available from: (accessed 03/03/2019).
  2. Health Service Executive .NHO Abbreviations booklet.Available from: (accessed 3 March 2019)
  3. Bottomley JM. Quick reference dictionary for physical therapy. Slack Incorporated; 2000.