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J Bodyw Mov Ther. 2010 Jul;14(3):280-6. doi: 10.1016/j.jbmt.2010.03.004.

The biomechanics of spinal manipulation.

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Faculty of Kinesiology, University of Calgary, Calgary, AB T2N 1N4, Canada.


Biomechanics is the science that deals with the external and internal forces acting on biological systems and the effects produced by these forces. Here, we describe the forces exerted by chiropractors on patients during high-speed, low-amplitude manipulations of the spine and the physiological responses produced by the treatments. The external forces were found to vary greatly among clinicians and locations of treatment on the spine. Spinal manipulative treatments produced reflex responses far from the treatment site, caused movements of vertebral bodies in the "para-physiological" zone, and were associated with cavitation of facet joints. Stresses and strains on the vertebral artery during chiropractic spinal manipulation of the neck were always much smaller than those produced during passive range of motion testing and diagnostic procedures.

[Indexed for MEDLINE]

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