Index to Chiropractic Literature
Index to Chiropractic Literature
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ID 21435
  Title Performance and reliability of a variable rate, force/displacement application system
Journal J Manipulative Physiol Ther. 2010 Oct;33(8):585-593
Peer Review Yes
Publication Type Article
Abstract/Notes Objective: Spinal manipulation therapy (SMT), an intervention used to treat low back pain, has been demonstrated to affect the stiffness of the spine. To adequately quantify the effects of SMT on stiffness, a device capable of applying specific parameters of manipulation in addition to measuring force-displacement values has been developed previously. Previously developed indentation techniques that quantify stiffness have been modified for novel use in evaluating SMT parameters. The reliability of stiffness measurements performed by the newly adapted device was assessed in this study.

Methods: Seven springs of varying stiffness were each indented 10 times by a variable rate force/displacement (VRFD) device. Indentations were performed at a rate of 0.5 mm/s to a maximal displacement of 4 mm. The stiffness coefficients for a middle portion of the resulting force-displacement graph and the terminal instantaneous stiffness (stiffness at end displacement) were calculated. The intraclass correlation and confidence interval were calculated for these stiffness measurements to assess device reliability.

Results: Repeated spring stiffness measures yielded an intraclass correlation coefficient value of 1.0. The mean stiffness values had narrow 95% confidence intervals ranging from 0.01 N/mm to 0.06 N/mm and small coefficients of variation.

Conclusion: This VRFD device provides highly reliable stiffness measurements in controlled conditions. Although in vivo reliability remains to be established, the results of this study support the use of the VRFD device in future trials investigating the impact of various SMT parameters on spinal stiffness.

This abstract is reproduced with the permission of the publisher; full text by subscription. Click on the above link and choose a publisher from PubMed's LinkOut feature. Link to free full text.

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