MRI imaging isn’t everything. A new study from the University of Alberta demonstrates that vibrating the spinal cord may show more when it comes to treating back pains.

Instead of using large seismic vibrations to find oil, we used gentle vibrations to find out where problems exist in the back,” explains Kawchuk, professor of physical therapy at the U of A’s Faculty of Rehabilitation Medicine. “By studying and testing vibration responses in identical twins, we were able to demonstrate that structural changes within the spine alter its vibration response.

Publishing online in Scientific Reports on March 11, 2016, the identical twin study design is significant and unique for biomechanical studies like this one. In the instance where twins had similar spines, the vibration responses were statistically similar. Alternatively, if one twin had a different spine, due to an accident or injury for example, the vibration responses were significantly different from each other.


In Denmark we have the world’s largest and most comprehensive twin registry and using this unique resource, we have been able to contribute to research that can potentially help to diagnose millions of back pain patients,” says Jan Hartvigsen, professor of clinical biomechanics and musculoskeletal research, University of South Denmark.

The findings show the viability of vibration as a diagnostic tool that could help improve MRI utilization in the short term“, Kawchuk says.

Original source: http://www.ualberta.ca/