CORRELATIONS BETWEEN PARASPINAL TEMPERATURE
VARIATION AND HEALTH STATUS:
FROM MANUAL THERAPEUTIC ART TO OBJECTIVE MEASUREMENT
Douglas G. Richards, Ph.D., David L. McMillin, M.A.,
Eric A. Mein, M.D., and Carl D. Nelson, D.C.
The purpose of this study was to explore correlations between an objective
measurement related to manual medicine - paraspinal temperature variation
- and health quality of life. The use of manual diagnostic and therapeutic
techniques for systemic illness has often been seen as more of a healing
art than a science. However, paraspinal temperature variation has claims
for relevance going back to the early days of osteopathy and chiropractic.
Temperature imbalances along the spine have been seen as indicators of
both somatic and visceral dysfunction, although in the past this has been
difficult to quantify. But fine-grain variations in temperature can now
be easily quantified with infrared thermography. This exploratory study
compared paraspinal temperature measurements using the Tytron C-3000 (a
computer-interfaced device with paired, infrared sensors) with questionnaire
measurements using the SF-36 short form health survey, a well-validated
measure of health status. Data from 79 people participating in health assessments
were used. The correlations of the SF-36 with measurements of temperature
differential on either side of the spine, and temperature variations along
the spine, ranged from r = -.23 to -.28, and were statistically significant
at the .05 level. This study demonstrates that temperature imbalances in
the spine are correlated with lower health quality of life, offering objective
support for historical claims in the art of manual medicine.
Douglas G. Richards, Ph.D.
1853 Old Donation Parkway, Suite 1
Virginia Beach, VA 23454
[Note: This study was presented at the annual meeting of the American
Academy of Osteopathy in Norfolk, Virginia on March 23, 2002.]
Copyright © 2006 Meridian Institute