FCER's International Conference on Spinal Manipulation, 1991; 118–121
Brennan, P.; Kokjohn, K.; Triano, J.; Fritz, T.; Wardrip, C.; Hondras, M.
Despite the huge economic expense of more than $16 billion in direct medical costs annually (1), and the devastating physical cost to its sufferers, back pain remains a medical and scientific enigma. Chiropractic theories regarding spinal column lesions that are treated clinically consistently invoke the mechanical aspects of deranged motion segments leading to loss of spinal flexibility as integral components of the subluxation (2). However, an understanding of the mechanisms involved in alterations of spinal motion segemnts and the systemic consequences of these alterations is hampered by the lack of a reasonably non-traumatic, reproducible, experimental model which has physiological relevance (3,4). Although existing experimental models of osteoarthritis support the hypothesis that immobilization is a key factor in musculoskeletal degeneration (3,5), these models suffer from limitations caused by the extreme anatomical distortion or severe tissue trauma imposed on the animals, as well as the inherent problems associated with comparing animal models to man (3,5). Similarly, distortion is a key feature in the model for subluxation developed in rabbits by DeBoer and McKnight(5). To avoid severe distortion of the spine, we have developed an experimental model which focuses on reduced spinal flexibility. Reduced spinal mobility was produced by fusing selected posterior facet joints of young adult male beagles with a non-toxic, non-immunogenic fibrin sealant. This report presents the preliminary results of measures of immune cell function in four dogs whose facet joints were fused compared with immune cell function in control dogs who underwent sham spinal fusion.
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