The purpose of this preliminary study is to determine muscle spindle response characteristics related to the use of 2 solenoid powered clinical mechanically assisted manipulation (MAM) devices.
L6 muscle spindle afferents with receptive fields in paraspinal muscles were isolated in 6 cats. Neural recordings were made during L7 MAMthrusts using the Activator V (Activator Methods Int. Ltd., Phoenix, AZ) and/or Pulstar (Sense Technology Inc., Pittsburgh, PA) devices at their 3 lowest force settings. Mechanically assisted manipulation response measures included (a) the time required post-thrust until the first action potential, (b) differences in mean frequency (MF) and mean instantaneous frequency (MIF) 2 seconds before and after MAM, and (c) the time required for muscle spindle discharge (MF and MIF) to return to 95% of baseline after MAM.
Depending on device setting, between 44% to 80% (Pulstar) and 11% to 63% (Activator V) of spindle afferents required N6 seconds to return to within 95% of baseline MF values; whereas 66% to 89% (Pulstar) and 75% to 100% (Activator V) of spindle responses returned to within 95% of baseline MIF in b6 seconds after MAM. Nonparametric comparisons between the 22N and 44N settings of the Pulstar yielded significant differences for the time required to return to baseline MF and MIF.
Short duration (b10 ms) MAM thrusts decrease muscle spindle discharge with a majority of afferents requiring prolonged periods (N6 seconds) to return to baseline MF activity. Physiological consequences and clinical relevance of described MAM mechanoreceptor responses will require additional investigation.