Annulus Fissures

Mechanical Upregulation

Mechanical upregulation is a popular topic. We know that intervertebral cells respond to physical stimuli.

But at what mechanical frequency is the key.  Important information has been revealed in this foundational research showing how specific vibrations upregulate disc cells. Forces of varying magnitudes and durations have been used clinically in the conservative approach to spine pain and related joints of the spine. Chiropractors have used low amplitude high velocity adjustments (HVLAT) for over a century in the management of spine pain. Traction has also been utilized by physical therapists.

More recently, mechanical decompression (which uses an intermittent traction strategy) has shown effect. All strategies use mechanical force in the attempt to provide a therapeutic outcome. One, uses a very short frequency and the other use longer frequencies. And arguably, each strategy has its place but it is the patient selection that is the challenging clinical question.  That is, which patient responds best to HVLAT and which patient responds best to traction, or decompression? This new research pushes us a little closer to the truth.

Dynamic Disc Designs offers models that move–opening clinical discussions about selection criteria for specific treatment options for patients. If you want to learn more about these models to help with research questions and patient education.

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