METHODS: Four spring-loaded instruments, the Activator Adjusting Instrument; Activator II Adjusting Instrument, Activator III Adjusting Instrument, and Activator IV Adjusting Instrument, and two electromechanical devices, the Harrison Handheld Adjusting Instrument and Neuromechanical Impulse Adjusting Instrument, were applied to a dynamic load cell. A total of 10 force-time histories were obtained at each of three force excursion settings (minimum to maximum) for each of the six adjusting instruments at preload of approximately 20 N.
RESULTS: The minimum-to-maximum force excursion settings for the spring-loaded mechanical adjusting instruments produced similar minimum-to-maximum peak forces that were not appreciably different for most excursion settings. The electromechanical adjusting instruments produced short duration ( approximately 2-4 ms), with more linear minimum-to-maximum peak forces. The force-time profile of the electromechanical devices resulted in a more uniform and greater energy dynamic frequency response in comparison to the spring-loaded mechanical adjusting instruments.
CONCLUSIONS: The handheld, electromechanical instruments produced substantially larger peak forces and ranges of forces in comparison to the handheld, spring-loaded mechanical devices. The electromechanical instruments produced greater dynamic frequency area ratios than their mechanical counterparts. Knowledge of the force-time history and force-frequency response characteristics of spinal manipulative instruments may provide basic benchmarks and may assist in understanding mechanical responses in the clinical setting.
Click on the above link for the PubMed record for this article; full text by subscription. The abstract is reproduced here with the permission of the publisher.