The William and Jo Harris Building on the
Palmer Davenport campus houses the
Palmer Center for Chiropractic Research.
“Elderly Back Pain: Comparing
Chiropractic to Medical Care”
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
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”
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
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
“Effect of Vertebral Loading on
Sympathetic Nerve Regulation”
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.