Technique Lab of the Future

Our researchers are at the forefront of studying the biomechanics of the chiropractor’s most important tool, the adjustment. In addition to knowledge of anatomy and joint biomechanics, and the skill to correctly identify anatomical locations on patients, students need training in several physical components of performing adjustments. All of these motor skills need to be accomplished in a coordinated manner, with proper body mechanics, to produce an adjustment that is effective and safe for the patient and the doctor.

To address this need, the CCR, in collaboration with the Chiropractic Sciences Division, has developed a Technique Lab of the Future (TLOF). This unique educational tool provides an entirely new and state-of-the-art methodology for the technique faculty to utilize as a part of student learning. The technique lab features 13 full-spine mannequins developed at Life University. These palpation and adjusting trainers (PATs) have the look, feel, size and weight of an average person and include 64 pressure sensors at key spinal landmarks. Software enables students to scan for structures beneath the mannequin’s silicone skin and know with certainty when the structure has been located.

Using an adjusting bench with a built-in force plate, students are taught to reproduce the magnitude, line of drive, and speed of thrusts similar to targets provided by their instructors. Future developments will include a force and orientation tracking glove and motion tracking equipment to provide students advanced performance feedback during early technique training.

None of these tools replace the human-to-human adjustment and palpation skills training in the technique program. They do, however, provide a repeatable and safe way for students to learn to control their thrusts through repeated practice on the mannequins, before they apply those skills to humans.

Seasonal Infectious Disease Patient Reported Outcome (SID-PRO)

Creation of a survey tool that can be utilized by healthcare professionals to track the symptoms of specific seasonal infectious diseases over time.

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Autonomic dysfunction: a feasibility study of methodologies

This feasibility study uses a series of tests and data analysis methods on a generally healthy population to determine which measures to standardize for the projected series of autonomic studies. This study takes patient comfort into account along with the quality and quantity of data able to be elicited in order to determine which methods are best suited for our projected line of study in populations with autonomic dysfunction.

Comprehensive Well-Being and Health Evaluation (Co-WHE)

Whole person & well-being health have become important as society searches for ways to increase resilience, and to shift from a paradigm of surviving to one of thriving. There is currently, however, no set criteria for how to measure whole-person health & well-being. To remedy this, we are developing the Comprehensive Well-Being and Health Evaluation (Co-WHE), an open source, global wholistic patient reported outcome measure that assesses a patient’s initial and progressive well-being and health over time in twelve categories: physical, social, spiritual, emotional, environment, mental/intellectual, occupational, energy, achievement, engagement, purpose, and competence.

Blinding integrity following a single session of simulated or genuine high velocity, low amplitude (HVLA) manual chiropractic adjustments: a randomized controlled proof-of-concept trial

The primary aim of this trial is to assess blinding following simulated/sham or genuine/real high velocity, low amplitude (HVLA) manual chiropractic adjustments. Briefly, eligible participants will be randomized to receive a single session of either simulated/sham or genuine/real chiropractic spinal adjustments and be given a brief survey immediately following their session and 48 hours later that captures their perceptions and experiences regarding the intervention they received. This study is intended to inform a future multi-session, randomized, sham-controlled trial.

The effects of chiropractic care on the brain, autonomic nervous system, gait, and patient reported outcomes in adults with diagnosed or suspected metabolic syndrome: a proof-of-concept trial

To add to this body of research and to additionally investigate the relationship between chiropractic and central nervous system functioning, the Center for Chiropractic Research is proposing a feasibility study that would employ the use of a recently developed comprehensive battery assessing central nervous system and autonomic nervous system functioning during resting, reactive, and recovery states in a population with metabolic syndrome.

Psychoneuroimmunology as a framework for studying the effects of chiropractic care in a population with high central adiposity: a feasibility trial

Since 1980, the global prevalence of obesity, commonly defined as a body mass index (BMI) of 30 or higher, has doubled. Importantly, obesity is associated with numerous PNI-related sequelae, including increased levels of psychological distress, cognitive deficits, ANS dysfunction, and immune marker abnormalities. To our knowledge, rigorous investigation of chiropractic’s impact on PNI-related outcomes in people with obesity is lacking. Based on evidence to date, it is plausible that clinically important PNI-related dysfunctions (e.g., heightened stress levels, executive function impairments, dysautonomia, immune dysregulation) common in this population could be ameliorated via chiropractic care.

Assessing the effects of chiropractic care in children with parent-reported sensory processing disorder (SPD): a feasibility study

This trial’s main aims are to investigate the feasibility of implementing our novel assessment battery in tandem with normal and customary chiropractic care in a practice-based setting using a pediatric population with parent-reported SPD. More specifically, our primary endpoints are 1) recruitment rate, 2) tolerability, 3) adherence, 4) retention, 5) efficiency, and 6) data quality. As a secondary aim, we wish to investigate potential effects of chiropractic on parent-reported sensory dysfunction and autonomic nervous system (ANS) activity.

Assessing neurophysiological function, cognitive function, and health-related quality of life in school children: a feasibility study

This trial’s main aims are to investigate the feasibility of implementing our novel assessment battery with a pediatric population. More specifically, we want to assess our processes and procedures with respect to 1) recruitment rate (i.e., number of subjects recruited within the ~1 month recruitment window), 2) tolerability (i.e., proportion of participants able to wear the equipment without difficulty), 3) compliance (i.e., proportion of participants able to perform each task as instructed), 4) efficiency (i.e., average time to completion of each session), and 5) data fidelity (i.e., proportion of test acquisitions with data suitable for subsequent analyses). This feasibility trial is intended inform a future cluster randomized controlled trial (cRCT) assessing the effects of chiropractic care on a pediatric population.

The effects of chiropractic manual adjustments on nervous system function in individuals with post-concussion syndrome: A proof-of-concept trial

Given that PCS is a common consequence of TBI1 and considering it is still surrounded by a misunderstanding about the etiology, causation, diagnostic formulations, symptom presentation, prolonging factors and treatment10, more research into quantitatively assessing these symptoms is needed. This research project will investigate the relationship between chiropractic care and the PCS population. This will be a feasibility study investigating the success of recruitment within the PCS population and a new comprehensive assessment procedure, which includes testing brain dynamics, ANS functioning, gait, and movement.

Assessing reliability of a psychoneurological test battery

This study’s primary aims are to assess the test-retest reliability of a novel series of tests that track ANS activity during a postural challenge and cognitive functioning during treadmill walking.

The effects of upper cervical chiropractic care in adult cancer survivors with chronic cancer-related fatigue: a feasibility trial 

Irrespective of the cause(s), there is a widespread lack of identification of and treatment for chronic cancer related fatigue (CCRF) and other chronic cancer-related sequelae. Further, empirical data supporting the efficacy of interventions to remediate these issues are relatively sparse and urgently needed as the global population of cancer survivors continues to increase. To our knowledge, the impact of chiropractic care on CCRF and other health-related challenges that burden cancer survivors has yet to be investigated. In design.

The impact of chiropractic on fatigue & the autonomic nervous system in adults with long-COVID: a randomized, wait-list controlled pilot trial

While the results from our previous two feasibility studies were favorable, the sample sizes were small, and no control groups were used. The aim of the present study is to incorporate a wait-list control group & a larger sample size. Additionally, the previous studies only assessed resting-state HRV which does not permit an evaluation of the ANS’s reactivity to and recovery from a stressor, nor can it evaluate the function of the other branch of the ANS known as the sympathetic nervous system (SNS). To assess reactivity and recovery, our new ANS testing protocol incorporates a physical stressor (i.e., exercise). In addition, impedance cardiography (ICG) will be added to assess the SNS. In fundraising.

The effects of chiropractic care on neurophysiological function, cognition, behavior, and health-related quality of life in school children: a pilot cluster randomized controlled trial

This trial’s main aims are to investigate the potential effects of chiropractic in school-aged children. More specifically, we intend to run a pilot cluster randomized controlled trial (cRCT) whereby 4 elementary schools will be randomized to either normal and customary chiropractic care or wait-list for 8 weeks to compare the differences in brain, autonomic, cognitive, and self-reported outcomes between the groups. Upon completion of the 8-week trial, the students in the schools randomized to waitlist will be offered normal and customary chiropractic care. This pilot cRCT is intended inform a future, fully powered cRCT assessing the effects of chiropractic care in school-aged children. In fundraising.