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The following represent examples of medical shorthand for note taking and medical records. Because of both the similarities and differences between different abbreviations, facilities should develop an approved institutional list of abbreviations and have them readily available for staff and administrators.

Therapeutic Modalities or Treatments

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CWP Cold whirlpool
EMS Electrical muscle stimulation
ES Electrical stimulation
HP Hot pack
HT Hubbard tank
HVPS High-voltage pulsed stimulation
HWP Hot whirlpool
ICE Ice, compression, elevation
IFS Interferential stimulation
IM Ice massage
MENS Microcurrent electrical neuromuscular stimulation
MT Manual therapy
MWD Microwave diathermy
RICE Rest, ice, compression, elevation
SWD Shortwave diathermy
TENS Transcutaneous electrical nerve stimulation
TFM Transverse friction massage
TX Traction
US Ultrasound
UV Ultraviolet
WP Whirlpool


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AC Before meals
AD LIB At discretion/as desired
ASA Aspirin
ASAP As soon as possible
BID Twice daily
BIW Biweekly
MAX Maximum
MED Minimal erythemal dose (ultraviolet light) Medium
MIN Minimal
MOD Moderate
NOC Night, nocturnal
NPO Nothing by mouth
OD Once daily
PC After meals
PCA Patient-controlled anesthesia
PER By or through
PER OS, PO By mouth
PRN Whenever necessary
Q Every
QD Every day
QH Every hour
QID Four times a day
QOD Every other day
QN Every night
Q⇒ Every X hours (e.g., Q3HR = every 3 hours)
SED Suberythemal dose (ultraviolet light)
SIG Directions for use
SOS When necessary, if necessary
ST Start
TID Three times a day
TIW Three times a week
W/cm2 Watts per square centimeter

Range of Motion, Exercise, and Activity

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/ / Parallel bars
AAROM Active assistive (assisted) range of motion
ABD Abduction
ADD Adduction
ADL Activities of daily living
amb ambulation
AP Ankle pumps
AROM Active range of motion
BR Bed rest
CWI Crutch walking instruction/exercise
EV Eversion
EXT Extension
FARM Full active range of motion
FLX Flexion
FWB Full weight-bearing
GT Gait training
HEP Home exercise program
INV Inversion
MMT Manual muscle test
MVT Movement
NWB Non-weight-bearing
OOB Out of bed
OOW Out of work
PWB Partial weight-bearing
PNF Proprioceptive neuromuscular facilitation
PREs Progressive resistance exercises
PROM Passive range of motion
PRON Pronation
QS Quadriceps muscle sets
REHAB Rehabilitation
REPs Repetitions
ROM Range of motion
ROT Rotate, rotational
RROM Resistive range of motion
RTW Return to work
SB Side bending
SLR Straight-leg raise
SUP Supination
TTW Toe touch weight-bearing
WBAT Weight-bearing as tolerated

Surgical and Medical Procedures

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ACLR Anterior cruciate ligament reconstruction
BX Biopsy
CBC Complete blood count
CT/CAT Computer-assisted tomography
CTR Carpal tunnel release
MRI Magnetic resonance imaging
OREF Open reduction, external fixation
ORIF Open reduction, internal fixation
THA Total hip arthroplasty
THR Total hip replacement

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