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The William and Jo Harris Building on the Palmer Davenport campus houses the Palmer Center for Chiropractic Research.
William and Jo Harris Building

“Elderly Back Pain: Comparing Chiropractic to Medical Care”

AUTHORS: William Meeker, D.C., M.P.H.; Brian Anseeuw, D.C., M.D.; JamesW. DeVocht, D.C.; Ram Gudavalli, Ph.D.; Maria Hondras, D.C.; Cynthia Long, Ph.D.; Gary Rosenthal, M.D.; and David Wilder, Ph.D. 

This is the first randomized clinical trial to examine medical and chiropractic treatment options in sub-acute and chronic lowback pain (LBP) in the elderly. In collaboration with the University of Iowa, this study will compare chiropractic care versus medical care and high-velocity low amplitude manipulation (side-posture adjusting) vs. low-velocity variable amplitude mobilization (flexion-distraction).

The two primary analyses have the potential to inform and improve chiropractic clinical practice for the elderly. Several biomechanical measurements are being used to develop hypotheses on how LBP and adjustive loads affect muscle and joint physiology, especially in the elderly, and could lead to better integration between the basic and clinical sciences in the area of spinal care research.

“Examining Manipulation with a Spine Fixation Model”

AUTHORS: Charles Henderson, D.C., Ph.D.; Tae-Hong Lim, Ph.D.; Gregory D. Cramer, D.C., Ph.D; and Ram Gudavalli, Ph.D. 

This is a three-part comparative study to show the biomechanical and histological effects of low-velocity variable amplitude spinal manipulation (LVVA-SM) and high-velocity low amplitude spinal manipulation (HVLA-SM) using a reversible spine fixation model. In addition, preliminary data will be obtained on exploratory and defense behaviors of study rats in response to experimental spine fixation and subsequent LVVA-SM and HVLA-SM treatments.

These studies will permit extension of the researchers’ previous mechanism-based studies in spine fixation and may lead to another application to evaluate treatment variables and subject characteristics that could impact the choice of LVVA-SM or HVLA-SM as a treatment approach. The research is collaborative with the University of Iowa and National University of Health Sciences.

“Effect of Vertebral Loading on Sympathetic Nerve Regulation”

AUTHORS: Joel Pickar, D.C., Ph.D.; Michael J. Kenney, Ph.D.; Charles Henderson, D.C., Ph.D.; Ram Gudavalli, Ph.D; and Cynthia Long, Ph.D. 

The long-term goal of this study is to understand the mechanistic interaction between mechanical loads on the spine and autonomic nerve function. From there, information will be extrapolated to examine how sustained mechanical loading of the lumbar spine and spinal manipulation influence sympathetic nerve regulation. There will be three questions investigated in the course of this study: (1) How does the magnitude of a mechanical stimulus applied to the lumbar spine affect sympathetic nerve activity? (2) How do static mechanical stimuli compared with dynamic, cyclic mechanical stimuli affect sympathetic nerve activity? (3) How does spinal manipulation affect the sympathetic nerve activity?

This investigation will add to the knowledge base about these interactions in appendicular tissues and new information will help provide a rational basis for understanding the application of manipulative procedures. This is a collaborative project with Kansas State University.

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