The authors studied relative bone movements in response to manipulative light taps to the spine. Piezoelectric accelerometers attached to bone of an anesthetized dog measured transverse, X-Z plane, movements of L2-L3 adjacent vertebrae while percussion thrusts of an instrument used for manipulation made inputs three vertebrae above and five vertebrae below the L2-L3 joint interface. Small, relative 1-mm translations and 0.5 degree rotations occurred during the first 19 msec. When one set of accelerometers were stabilized on the skin surface, half of the skin-bone translation maxima erred less than 2%. However, skin translations averaged 77% (SD = 2%) of bone translations and skin rotations averaged 95% (SD = 26%) of bone rotations. The results suggest the possibility that, with further development, piezoelectric accelerometers can be a noninvasive tool to study dynamic, relative, bone movement.

J Manipulative Physiol Ther. 1989 Feb;12(1):26-37. [PMID:2926284]

Author information: Smith DB, Fuhr AW, Davis BP. Activator Methods, Inc., Phoenix, Arizona 85060-0317.