Development and Evaluation of a Reversible Small Animal Model of Chiropractic Subluxation

Development and Evaluation of a Reversible
Small Animal Model of Chiropractic Subluxation

This section was compiled by Frank M. Painter, D.C.
Send all comments or additions to:

Charles Henderson, D.C., Ph.D.   &   Gregory Cramer, D.C., Ph.D.

Palmer Center for Chiropractic Research / National College of Chiropractic


This proposal presents a comprehensive investigation of a small animal model of spinal subluxation consisting of percutaneously attached pins into the spinous process of two adjacent vertebrae. These pins will then be experimentally manipulated, allowing the full external, nontraumatic and reversible control of two key features of the subluxation hypothesis: fixation and malposition. This experimental system, the Rat Transcutaneous Spinous Fixation Model [RTSFM] will be replicated by investigative teams at both Palmer and National Colleges of Chiropractic to assure the practicality of the model in terms of reproducibility, economy and ease of construction.

Both the fixation and malposition elements of the RTSFM will be evaluated by visual inspection [radiographically and at surgery and autopsy] and by instrument-assisted biomechanical analysis both in vivo and in vitro. Preliminary data to assess the putative anatomical, biochemical, and electrophysiological consequences of the subluxation will also be obtained. Examples of the types of data to be extracted are histological changes of the zygapophyseal [Z] joints, changs in receptor populations on afferent neurons associated with the immobilzed Z joints, nerve conduction velocity changes in dorsal roots near sites of fixation or malposition, and alterations in neuromodulators to pain.

The clinical relevance of the RTSFM model is demonstrated by its ability to provide data relating to the following questions:

[i] Is there an optimum time window for applying spinal manipulation;

[ii] What are the effects of changing biomechanical features [simulating different chiropractic techniques];

[iii] What is the effect of repeated manipulation under different states of the subject; and

[iv] can chiropractic subluxations alter visceral function?

from FCER's Page



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