OBJECTIVE: The purpose of this study was to confirm a practitioner's perception of cavitation during spinal manipulative therapy in a clinically relevant situation using accelerometer recordings.
DESIGN: Experimental study.
SETTING: Human Performance Laboratory and Sports Medicine Center, University of Calgary.
PARTICIPANTS: Twenty-eight patients from a single practitioner's patient pool who had pain in the area of the thoracic spine.
INTERVENTION: Spinal manipulative treatment (SMT) on the transverse process of T4 using a reinforced unilateral contact and delivering a thrust in the posterior to anterior direction.
MAIN OUTCOME MEASURES: Instantaneous acceleration signals obtained from the spinous process of T3 during SMT and the practitioner's perception if cavitation had occurred or not at the end of each treatment.
CONCLUSIONS: It appears that cavitation may be measured during SMT using accelerometry and that a practitioner's perception of the occurrence of cavitation during SMT is very accurate.
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