Index to Chiropractic Literature
Index to Chiropractic Literature
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ID 18536
  Title High loading rate during spinal manipulation produces unique facet joint capsule strain patterns compared with axial rotations
Journal J Manipulative Physiol Ther. 2005 Nov-Dec;28(9):673-687
Peer Review Yes
Publication Type Article
Abstract/Notes PURPOSE: Lumbar spinal manipulation (SM) is a popular, effective treatment for low back pain but the physiological mechanisms remain elusive. During SM, mechanoreceptors innervating the facet joint capsule (FJC) may receive a novel stimulus, contributing to the neurophysiological benefits of SM. The biomechanics of SM and physiological axial rotations were compared to determine whether speed or loading site affected FJC strain magnitudes or patterns.

METHODS: Human lumbar spine specimens were tested during physiological rotations and simulated SM while measuring applied torque, vertebral motion, and FJC strain. During physiological rotations, specimens were actuated at T12 to 20 degrees left and right axial rotation at 2 degrees to 125 degrees per second. During SM simulations, a 7-mm impulse displacement was applied to L3, L4, or L5 at 5 to 50 mm per second.

RESULTS: Physiological rotations. Increasing displacement rate resulted in significantly larger torque magnitudes (P < .001), whereas vertebral kinematics and FJC strain magnitudes were unchanged (P > .05). Physiological rotations vs SM. Applied torque and vertebral rotation magnitudes were similar across speed and vertebral level. Total vertebral translations were slightly larger during physiological rotations vs SM at a given loading rate (P < .05). Patterns of vertebral motions and FJC strain during SM and physiological rotations varied significantly with loading rate (P < .05) but not with actuation site (P > .15).

CONCLUSIONS: The similar patterns observed in vertebral motion and FJC strain across actuation sites during SM and physiological rotations suggest that site specificity of SM may have minimal clinical relevance. High loading rates during lumbar SM resulted in unique patterns in FJC strain, which may result in unique patterns of FJC mechanoreceptor response.

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.
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