University of Alberta
Dr. Arnold Wong PhD, MPhil, BScPT, BSc, on the University of Alberta's R2000.
Mikrolar Provides A Testing Platform for Spinal Mechanics Research
Dr. Greg Kawchuk BSC, DC, MSc, PhD, at the University of Alberta in Edmonton, Alberta, Canada has been working to develop a better method to study spinal mechanics.
Low back pain is a persisting problem for many people. According to statistics from the National Institute of Arthritis and Musculoskeletal and Skin Diseases, "Back pain is one of the most common medical problems, affecting 8 out of 10 people at some point during their lives. Back pain can range from a dull, constant ache to a sudden, sharp pain."
The majority of back pain is thought to be mechanical in nature and as a result, there is a need to test the mechanical properties of the spine. Traditionally, testing of the spine has been constrained to a single plane or axis. While simple, this approach does not consider the 3D nature of movement in the spine.
In order to better study spinal mechanics, a testing platform is needed which can perform complex, multi-axial motions either de novo, or reproduced from actual physiological environments. Mikrolar's R2000 Rotopod (legacy of the R3000 Rotopod) has been able to help Dr. Kawchuk to achieve these goals at the University of Alberta.
The University is presently using the R2000 to test isolated spine segments as well as to assess spinal mechanics in live human subjects.