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.

The following Abbreviations are taken from the Irish Health Service Executive (HSE) Code of Practice for Healthcare Records Management Version 2. [1] and from wikipedia [2].



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/52 x weeks
x/12 x Months

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


5Ds Dizziness, diplopia, drop
attacks, dysorthria, dysphagia
9HPT Nine Hole 


A&A Aids and Appliances
AAA Abdominal Aortic Aneurysm

ABG- Arterial blood gas
ACL – anterior cruciate ligament
ACTH – adrenocorticotropic hormone
ADL – activities of daily living
AFO – ankle foot orthosis
AIDS – acquired immune deficiency syndrome
ASIS- Anterior superior iliacspine
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
Add Adduction (physio)
Abd Abduction (physio)
ACS Acute coronary syndrome
ADH Anti-diuretic hormone
ADHD Attention deficit hyperactivity disorder
AF Atrial fibrillation
AFB Acid fast bacilli


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 -Cytomegalovirus

c/o -Complains of
CO -Cardiac output
CO2- Carbon dioxide
COAD -Chronic ostructive airways disease
COB -Chronic obstructive bronchitis
CO/C1- Atlanto-axial joint
COPD- Chronic obstructive pulmonary disease
CPAP- Continuous positive airway pressure
CPB/CPBP -Cardiopulmonary bypass
CPD -Cephalopelvic disproportion
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


DASH -Disability of arm, shoulder, hand
D/C- Discharge
DDx -Differential diagnosis
DD -Dangerous drugs
DDD -Degenerative disc disorder
Dec. -Decreased
DF -Dorsiflexion (physio)
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


ECG Electrocardiogram
EEG – electroencephalogram, electroencephalograph
EMG – electromyogram, electromyography
Ex's – exercises
EOR End of range
Exp. Expiratory
Ext. Extension


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


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


Hb -Haemoglobin
HAD -Hospital Anxiety and Depression Scale
HBB- Hand behind back
HBH -Hand behind head
HBV- Hepatitis B Virus
H&C -Huff and cough
HCV -Hepatitis C virus
HCVD -Hypertensive cardiovascular disease
HDL -High density lipoprotein
HEP -Home exercise program (physio)
Hep A, B, C -Hepatitis A, B, C etc..
HGH -Human growth hormone
HI -Head injury
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


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


JCA -Juvenile chronic arthritis
JDM -Juvenile diabetes mellitus
JRA -Juvenile rheumatoid arthritis
Jt. -Joint
JVP -Jugular venous pressure


KJ -knee jerk
K -Wire Kirschner wire
KAFO – knee ankle foot orthosis


L 1-5 -Lumbar vertebrae 1-5
LA -Local anaesthetic
Lat – lateral
LBE -Lateral basal expansion 
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
LRTI -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
9-HPT -Nine-Hole Peg Test
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
PE – pulmonary embolus
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 
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


T1-12 -Thoracic vertebrae (1-12)
TB -Tuberculosis
TA -Tendoachilles
TBI -Traumatic brain injury
TBW -Tension band wiring
Temp. -Temperature
TENS -Transcutaneous electrical nerve stimulation

TEV -Talipes equinovarus 
TFA -Transfemoral amputation 
TFL -Tensor fasciae latae 
TFT -Thyroid function tests
T/F -Transfer (physio)
TG -Triglycerides
THA -Total hip arthroplasty
THR -Total hip replacement
TIA -Transient ischaemic attack
TJ -Triceps jerks
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
Tx -Traction


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


VAS Visual Analogue Scale

VBI -Vertebrobasilar insufficiency
VC -Vital capacity
VEP -Visual evoked potential
VF -Ventricular fibrillation
VFT -Ventilatory function test
VHD -Valvular heart disease
vibs/vibes. -Vibrations
Vit. -Vitamin
Viz -namely
VS -Vital signs
VSD -Ventricular septal defect


WB -Weight bearing

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



y/o -Years old
yr/s -Year/Years


ZF Zimmer Frame