Objective: To assess the force profiles of high-velocity low-amplitude thrusts delivered to a mannequin on a force platform by novice students given only verbal instructions.
Methods: Student volunteers untrained in adjusting delivered a series of adjustments to a mannequin on a force platform. Participants performed 3 light, 3 normal, and 3 heavy thrusts on 5 listings specifying contact point, hand, and direction. Force profiles were analyzed for speed and amplitude, consistency, and force discrimination. Two recording sessions occurred 10 weeks apart.
Results: Sixteen participants (11 females, 5 male) completed the study. Peak forces ranged from 880 to 202 N for heavy thrusts and 322- to 66 N for light thrusts. Thrust rate was from 8.1 to 1.8 Newtons per millisecond. Average coefficients of variability (CV = STD/mean) at each load level (initial/final) were heavy: 17%/15%; normal: 16%/15%; and light: 20%/20%, with 0 as ideal. A force ratio measured students' abilities to distinguish thrust magnitude. The heavy/normal ratio (initial/final) was 1.35/1.39, and the light/normal ratio was 0.70/0.67.
Conclusions: At this point, without force feedback being used in the classroom, novice students can produce thrusts that look like those of their teachers and of experienced practitioners, but they may not produce similar speed and force values. They are consistent within and between sessions and can discriminate between light and heavy loads. A natural next step in our educational research will be to measure adjustment factors on more experienced cohorts of students with and without the presence of force-feedback training apparatus.
Author keywords: Chiropractic Manipulation, Education, Motor Skills, Kinetics
Author affiliations: EFO Jr, BSR, RSH, SGBS: Dr. Sid E. Williams Center for Chiropractic Research at Life University; LLD, LM: Division of Chiropractic Sciences at Life University
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