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: Spinal manipulation (SM) is a form of manual therapy used clinically to treat patients with low back and neck pain. The most common form of this maneuver is characterized as a high-velocity (duration <150 ms), low-amplitude (segmental translation <2 mm, rotation <4 degrees , and applied force 220-889 N) impulse thrust (high-velocity, low-amplitude spinal manipulation [HVLA-SM]). Clinical skill in applying an HVLA-SM lies in the practitioner's ability to control the duration and magnitude of the load (ie, the rate of loading), the direction in which the load is applied, and the contact point at which the load is applied. Control over its mechanical delivery is presumably related to its clinical effects. Biomechanical changes evoked by an HVLA-SM are thought to have physiological consequences caused, at least in part, by changes in sensory signaling from paraspinal tissues. If activation of afferent pathways does contribute to the effects of an HVLA-SM, it seems reasonable to anticipate that neural discharge might increase or decrease in a nonlinear fashion as the thrust duration approaches a threshold value. We hypothesized that the relationship between the duration of an impulsive thrust to a vertebra and paraspinal muscle spindle discharge would be nonlinear with an inflection near the duration of an HVLA-SM delivered clinically (<150 ms). In addition, we anticipated that muscle spindle discharge would be more sensitive to larger amplitude thrusts. A neurophysiological study of spinal manipulation using the lumbar spine of a feline model. Impulse thrusts (duration: 12.5, 25, 50, 100, 200, and 400 ms; amplitude 1 or 2 mm posterior to anterior) were applied to the spinous process of the L6 vertebra of deeply anesthetized cats while recording single unit activity from dorsal root filaments of muscle spindle afferents innervating the lumbar paraspinal muscles. A feedback motor was used in displacement control mode to deliver the impulse thrusts. The motor's drive arm was securely attached to the L6 spinous process via a forceps. As thrust duration became shorter, the discharge of the lumbar paraspinal muscle spindles increased in a curvilinear fashion. A concave-up inflection occurred near the 100-ms duration eliciting both a higher frequency discharge compared with the longer durations and a substantially faster rate of change as thrust duration was shortened. This pattern was evident in paraspinal afferents with receptive fields both close and far from the midline. Paradoxically, spindle afferents were almost twice as sensitive to the 1-mm compared with the 2-mm amplitude thrust (6.2 vs. 3.3 spikes/s/mm/s). This latter finding may be related to the small versus large signal range properties of muscle spindles. The results indicate that the duration and amplitude of a spinal manipulation elicit a pattern of discharge from paraspinal muscle spindles different from slower mechanical inputs. Clinically, these parameters may be important determinants of an HVLA-SM's therapeutic benefit.The Spine Journal 01/2007; 7(5):583-95. · 3.36 Impact Factor
- Spine Journal - SPINE J. 01/2004; 4(3):335-356.
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ABSTRACT: Lateral radiographs of ten normal individuals were studied to determine the location of the instantaneous axis of rotation (IAR) of every lumbar vertebra for the movements of flexion and extension from the upright position and flexion from the fully extended position; and errors involved in the technique were quantified to establish confidence limits for the results of the calculations. The distribution of the IARs was found to fall within a small range from the mean location at each level, particularly for the movement of flexion from the extended position. Within-observer and between-observer errors occurred in tracing and superimposing radiographs and marking x and y coordinates. Unacceptably large errors occur when the movement of the joint is less than 5 degrees, and only the IAR for flexion from extension can be plotted with acceptable confidence. This result invalidates the notion that plotting centrodes may be of diagnostic value in recognizing mechanical disorders. The determination of a single extension to flexion IAR may be of more value clinically, to which end this study provides essential normative data.Spine 10/1988; 13(9):1033-41. · 2.16 Impact Factor