Biotensegrity Model Lacks the Accuracy of a ddd Spine Model

Biotensegrity Model Lacks the Accuracy of a DDD Model

Human anatomy models come in a huge variety of quality and accuracy. Different models appeal to different users because of budget, and some models are more appropriate for certain applications than for others. Often times, what you choose comes down to personal preference while other times it’s simply all about choosing the best and most accurate. This is especially important when it comes down to educating a paying patient. You want to be prepared.

Let’s consider, for example, the biotensegrity models that seem to be so popular these days, like the skwish model made by Manhattan Toy Company. These tensile models have been used to describe the human body’s musculoskeletal system as described by Dr. Stephen Levin who originated the concept of Biotensegrity more than 30 years ago. They somewhat resemble the Tinker Toys™ of days gone by.  These models attempt to demonstrate the tension and integrity in a simple way. However, there is one major flaw to these models. The core of the skwish model is rigid with wooden strut. We know the spine is a hydraulic system that contracts and expands within diurnal variations and the height is related to load.

One of the principles that is not explained by these tensile models made of elastics and wooden struts is that the core of our human frame is compressive.  We lose up to 25% of our hydraulic height over the course of the day to be recovered by sleep.

height loss, disc, core

Height changes of the intervertebral discs over 24 hrs

The biotensegrity models do a nice job providing a concept to the student or patient. But they obviously lack anatomical detail. On the other hand, the fully-detailed models made by Dynamic Disc Designs actually look like a spine, not a complicated collection of sticks and elastics. With the biotensegrity model, it’s hard to actually grasp the way in which a spine moves. Knowing a disc on the front and the facets on the back is VERY helpful for a patient. Knowing WHERE the painful spinal structures are can be very helpful in the crafting of specific movements to alleviate pain and improve function. Patients are likely to find the models confusing as they bear no resemblance to the actual spine and have no front and back.

Models made in Canada

With the models made by Dynamic Disc Designs (ddd) in Nanaimo, BC, Canada it is now much easier to see the inner workings of your body because the manufacturer, Dr. Jerome Fryer, spent much time researching before the development of any models. His primary interests are (and continue to be) connecting patients to their own spinal anatomy so it isn’t so mysterious. Often there is a simple explanation for their pain. He wanted to make a model to which patients could actually relate to so all professions (neurosurgeons, chiropractors, physiotherapists, osteopaths..etc) using the model can show the patient what a real disc looks like.  Also, demonstrating how certain spinal movements can impact those discs and the overall health of the spine. As a matter of fact, Dynamic Disc Design models are the most accurate on the market today and many chiropractors, surgeons, physical therapists, and other medical professionals use them daily.

Perception is so very important when it comes to gaining the trust of your patients, and it certainly makes sense that patients who perceive you to be an expert will buy in to what you prescribe and what you propose. Anything that helps your patients see you as an expert can help you achieve their trust, even your educational tools. So when you show them something that actually resembles their spine in an easy-to-understand way, ddd models, like the Professional LxH model, you’re providing patients with the chance to grasp an understanding of their spine problems AND letting them know just how much you know about your job.

Dynamic Disc Designs spinal segmental models are unique in many ways and represent a new standard in quality and anatomical detail far superior to any of their predecessors.  Their value far exceeds their cost.”
– Ara Deukmidjian, MD

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