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Force Distribution Within Spinal Tissues During Posterior to Anterior Spinal Manipulative Therapy: A Secondary Analysis

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Structural and chiropractic

Front Integr Neurosci.2022 Feb 4;15:809372.

Authors:

M Funabashi, A C Breen, D D Carvalho, I Pagé, F Nougarou, M Descarreaux, G N Kawchuk

Abstract.

Background: Previous studies observed that the intervertebral disc experiences the greatest forces during spinal manipulative therapy (SMT) and that the distribution of forces among spinal tissues changes as a function of the SMT parameters. However, contextualized SMT forces, relative to the ones applied to and experienced by the whole functional spinal unit, is needed to understand SMT's underlying mechanisms. Aim: To describe the percentage force distribution between spinal tissues relative to the applied SMT forces and total force experienced by the functional unit. Methods: This secondary analysis combined data from 35 fresh porcine cadavers exposed to a simulated 300N SMT to the skin overlying the L3/L4 facet joint via servo-controlled linear motor actuator. Vertebral kinematics were tracked optically using indwelling bone pins. The functional spinal unit was then removed and mounted on a parallel robotic platform equipped with a 6-axis load cell. The kinematics of the spine during SMT were replayed by the robotic platform. By using serial dissection, peak and mean forces induced by the simulated SMT experienced by spinal structures in all three axes of motion were recorded. Forces experienced by spinal structures were analyzed descriptively and the resultant force magnitude was calculated. Results: During SMT, the functional spinal unit experienced a median peak resultant force of 36.4N (IQR: 14.1N) and a mean resultant force of 25.4N (IQR: 11.9N). Peak resultant force experienced by the spinal segment corresponded to 12.1% of the total applied SMT force (300N). When the resultant force experienced by the functional spinal unit was considered to be 100%, the supra and interspinous ligaments experienced 0.3% of the peak forces and 0.5% of the mean forces. Facet joints and ligamentum flavum experienced 0.7% of the peak forces and 3% of the mean forces. Intervertebral disc and longitudinal ligaments experienced 99% of the peak and 96.5% of the mean forces. Conclusion: In this animal model, a small percentage of the forces applied during a posterior-to-anterior SMT reached spinal structures in the lumbar spine. Most SMT forces (over 96%) are experienced by the intervertebral disc. This study provides a novel perspective on SMT force distribution within spinal tissues.

Publication Date: 

2022 Feb

OEID: 

6195

Funabashi, M., Breen, CA., Carvalho, DD., Pagé, I., Nougarou, F., Descarreaux, M., Kawchuk, NG. (2022) 'Force Distribution Within Spinal Tissues During Posterior to Anterior Spinal Manipulative Therapy: A Secondary Analysis', Front Integr Neurosci.2022 Feb 4;15:809372.

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