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June 2024

J Manipulative Physiol Ther. 1993 Nov-Dec; 16(9): 573-7.

Biomechanical characterization (fingerprinting) of five novel methods of cervical spine manipulation.

Kawchuk GN, Herzog W.

University of Calgary, Faculty of Physical Education, Alberta, Canada.

OBJECTIVE: To determine the biomechanical characteristics of five clinically common methods of cervical spine manipulation. DESIGN: Descriptive study. SETTING: Human Performance Lab, University of Calgary. PARTICIPANTS: Five volunteer practitioners treating symptomatic patients from their own clinical populations. INTERVENTION: Five commonly used methods of cervical spine manipulation: lateral break (LAT), Gonstead (GON), Activator (ACT), toggle (TOG), rotation (ROT). MAIN OUTCOME MEASURE: Mean thrust duration (msec), normalized mean peak force (N), slope (N/msec), force profile (graphic representation of the above values. RESULTS: Outcome measures for each manipulative technique were as follows: LAT = normalized mean peak force of 102.2 N at 86.7 msec, GON = 109.8 N at 91.9 msec, ACT = 40.9 N at 31.8 msec, TOG = 117.6 N at 47.5 msec, ROT = 40.5 N at 79.1 msec. CONCLUSION: The observed differences and similarities in force profiles between the five techniques studied here may partly be the manifestation of how a particular technique delivers force to the cervical spine. The clinical significance of force profile characterization is not yet known.

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