Validation of the cat as a model for the human lumbar spine during simulated high-velocity, low-amplitude spinal manipulation.
ABSTRACT High-velocity, low-amplitude spinal manipulation (HVLA-SM) is an efficacious treatment for low back pain, although the physiological mechanisms underlying its effects remain elusive. The lumbar facet joint capsule (FJC) is innervated with mechanically sensitive neurons and it has been theorized that the neurophysiological benefits of HVLA-SM are partially induced by stimulation of FJC neurons. Biomechanical aspects of this theory have been investigated in humans while neurophysiological aspects have been investigated using cat models. The purpose of this study was to determine the relationship between human and cat lumbar spines during HVLA-SM. Cat lumbar spine specimens were mechanically tested, using a displacement-controlled apparatus, during simulated HVLA-SM applied at L5, L6, and L7 that produced preload forces of approximately 25% bodyweight for 0.5 s and peak forces that rose to 50-100% bodyweight within approximately 125 ms, similar to that delivered clinically. Joint kinematics and FJC strain were measured optically. Human FJC strain and kinematics data were taken from a prior study. Regression models were established for FJC strain magnitudes as functions of factors species, manipulation site, and interactions thereof. During simulated HVLA-SM, joint kinematics in cat spines were greater in magnitude compared with humans. Similar to human spines, site-specific HVLA-SM produced regional cat FJC strains at distant motion segments. Joint motions and FJC strain magnitudes for cat spines were larger than those for human spine specimens. Regression relationships demonstrated that species, HVLA-SM site, and interactions thereof were significantly and moderately well correlated for HVLA-SM that generated tensile strain in the FJC. The relationships established in the current study can be used in future neurophysiological studies conducted in cats to extrapolate how human FJC afferents might respond to HVLA-SM. The data from the current study warrant further investigation into the clinical relevance of site targeted HVLA-SM.
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ABSTRACT: Excessive mechanical loading of intervertebral discs (IVD) is thought to alter matrix properties and influence disc cell metabolism, contributing to degenerative disc disease and development of discogenic pain. However, little is known about how mechanical strain induces these changes. This study investigated the cellular and molecular changes as well as which inflammatory receptors and cytokines were up-regulated in human intervertebral disc cells exposed to high mechanical strain (HMS) at low frequency. The impact of these metabolic changes on neuronal differentiation was also explored to determine a role in the development of disc degeneration and discogenic pain. Isolated human annulus fibrosus (AF) and nucleus pulposus (NP) cells were exposed to HMS (20% cyclical stretch at 0.001 Hz) on high-extension silicone rubber dishes coupled to a mechanical stretching apparatus and compared to static control cultures. Gene expression of toll-like receptors (TLR), neuronal growth factor (NGF) and tumor necrosis factor alpha (TNFalpha) was assessed. Collected conditioned media was analyzed for cytokine content and applied to rat pheocromocytoma PC12 cells for neuronal differentiation assessment. HMS caused up-regulation of TLR2, TLR4, NGF and TNFalpha gene expression in IVD cells. Medium from HMS cultures contained elevated levels of growth related oncogene, interleukin (IL)-6, IL-8, IL-15, monocyte chemoattractant protein (MCP)-1, MCP-3, monokine induced by gamma interferon, transforming growth factor beta-1, TNFalpha and NGF. Exposure of PC12 cells to HMS-conditioned media resulted in both increased neurite sprouting and cell death. HMS culture of IVD cells in vitro drives cytokine and inflammatory responses associated with degenerative disc disease and low back pain. This study provides evidence for a direct link between cellular strain, secretory factors, neo-innervation and potential degeneration and discogenic pain in vivo.Arthritis research & therapy 01/2014; 16(1):R21. · 4.27 Impact Factor
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ABSTRACT: The lumbar facet joint capsule (FJC) is innervated with mechanically sensitive neurons and is thought to contribute to proprioception and pain. Biomechanical investigations of the FJC have commonly used human cadaveric spines, whereas combined biomechanical and neurophysiological studies have typically used nonhuman animal models. The purpose of this study was to develop mathematical relationships describing vertebral kinematics and FJC strain in cat and human lumbar spine specimens during physiological spinal motions to facilitate future efforts at understanding the mechanosensory role of the FJC. Cat lumbar spine specimens were tested during extension, flexion, and lateral bending. Joint kinematics and FJC principal strain were measured optically. Facet joint capsule strain-intervertebral angle (IVA) regression relationships were established for the 3 most caudal lumbar joints using cat (current study) and human (prior study) data. The FJC strain-IVA relationships were used to estimate cat and human spine kinematics that corresponded to published sensory neuron response thresholds (5% and 10% strain) for low-threshold mechanoreceptors. Significant linear relationships between IVA and strain were observed for both human and cat during motions that produced tension in the FJCs (P < .01). During motions that produced tension in the FJCs, the models predicted that FJC strain magnitudes corresponding to published sensory neuron response thresholds would be produced by IVA magnitudes within the physiological range of lumbar motion. Data from the current study support the proprioceptive role of lumbar spine FJC and low-threshold mechanoreceptive afferents and can be used in interpreting combined neurophysiological and biomechanical studies of cat lumbar spines.Journal of manipulative and physiological therapeutics 09/2011; 34(7):420-31. · 1.06 Impact Factor
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ABSTRACT: Manual therapy practitioners commonly assess lumbar intervertebral mobility before deciding treatment regimens. Changes in mechanoreceptor activity during the manipulative thrust are theorized to be an underlying mechanism of spinal manipulation (SM) efficacy. The objective of this study was to determine if facet fixation or facetectomy at a single lumbar level alters muscle spindle activity during 5 SM thrust durations in an animal model. Spinal stiffness was determined using the slope of a force-displacement curve. Changes in the mean instantaneous frequency of spindle discharge were measured during simulated SM of the L6 vertebra in the same 20 afferents for laminectomy-only and 19 laminectomy and facet screw conditions; only 5 also had data for the laminectomy and facetectomy condition. Neural responses were compared across conditions and 5 thrust durations (≤250 milliseconds) using linear-mixed models. Significant decreases in afferent activity between the laminectomy-only and laminectomy and facet screw conditions were seen during 75-millisecond (P < .001), 100-millisecond (P = .04), and 150-millisecond (P = .02) SM thrust durations. Significant increases in spindle activity between the laminectomy-only and laminectomy and facetectomy conditions were seen during the 75-millisecond (P < .001) and 100-millisecond (P < .001) thrust durations. Intervertebral mobility at a single segmental level alters paraspinal sensory response during clinically relevant high-velocity, low-amplitude SM thrust durations (≤150 milliseconds). The relationship between intervertebral joint mobility and alterations of primary afferent activity during and after various manual therapy interventions may be used to help to identify patient subpopulations who respond to different types of manual therapy and better inform practitioners (eg, chiropractic and osteopathic) delivering the therapeutic intervention.Journal of manipulative and physiological therapeutics 10/2013; · 1.06 Impact Factor