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Neurocircuitry of Force-Based Manipulations

September 17, 2019 to September 18, 2019

Event Description

A variety of manual therapies, including chiropractic manipulation, deep tissue massage, gentle strokes, and physical therapy, apply mechanical forces to peripheral tissues as part of the therapeutic delivery. Research in fundamental neuroscience to understand the basic neural mechanisms underlying mechanosensation (sensing of external mechanical forces) has provided novel insights in recent years into the peripheral and central neural circuitry of force-based manipulations, as well as the molecular sensors that modulate mechanosensation. The National Center for Complementary and Integrative Health (NCCIH), in conjunction with the Eunice Kennedy Shriver National Institute for Child Health and Human Development (NICHD)/National Center for Medical Rehabilitation Research (NCMRR), is excited to present a workshop that brings neuroscientists studying mechanosensation together with clinical investigators in the field of manual therapies. This workshop will explore potential neural and extraneural mechanisms of biomechanical force-based manipulations and interventions.

Workshop Goals

  1. Identify research gaps and barriers in the force-based manipulations research field
  2. Discuss new research directions opportunities for force-based manipulations

  3. Promote collaborations among mechanosensation neuroscientists, manual therapists, physiologists, mathematicians, and engineers to advance cutting-edge research related to force-based manipulation

  4. Develop and encourage the use of common language and terminology.

The workshop is targeted to basic and mechanistic researchers and clinician scientists in fields related to force-based manipulations and mechanosensation.


Please register to watch online, using this Eventbrite link.

Registration is free and open to the public. In-person registration is full.




Title: Neurocircuitry of Force-Based Manipulations

Organizers: Merav Sabri, Ph.D. (National Center for Complementary and Integrative Health, NCCIH), Jim Gnadt, Ph.D. (National Institute of Neurological Disorders and Stroke, NINDS)

National Institutes of Health Partners: Alison Cernich, Ph.D., A.B.P.P.-Cn. (Eunice Kennedy Shriver National Institute of Child Health and Human Development/National Center for Medical Rehabilitation Research, NICHD/NCMRR), Grace Peng, Ph.D. (National Institute of Biomedical Imaging and Bioengineering, NIBIB), Lyndon Joseph, Ph.D. (National Institute on Aging, NIA)

Cochairs: Ellen Lumpkin, Ph.D., Gert Bronfort, D.C., Ph.D.

Tuesday, September 17

9:00 a.m.
Opening remarks: Helene Langevin, M.D. (NCCIH Director) 
9:10 a.m.
Workshop charge: Ellen Lumpkin, Ph.D. (Cochair)
9:20 a.m.

Overview of clinical relevance: Gert Bronfort, D.C., Ph.D. (Cochair)

9:30 a.m.

Session 1: Define the biomechanical force and mechanoreceptors

Moderator—Jim Gnadt, Ph.D. (NINDS)

Rapporteur—Julie Fritz, Ph.D., P.T., F.A.P.T.A.

(h=human; a=animal)

   (a/h) Helene Langevin, M.D.

   (a) Stephen Brohawn, Ph.D.

   (a) William Reed, D.C., Ph.D.

   (h) Julie Fritz, Ph.D., P.T., F.A.P.T.A.

   (h) Greg Kawchuk, D.C., Ph.D.

11:30 a.m.

Session 2: Peripheral and extraneural sensing of biomechanical force

Moderator—Lyndon Joseph, Ph.D. (NIA)

Rapporteur—Alex Chesler, Ph.D.

   (a) Ellen Lumpkin, Ph.D.

   (a) Mary Barbe, Ph.D., F.A.A.A.

   (a/h) Alex Chesler, Ph.D.

2:45 p.m.

Session 3: Spinal cord transmission of force sensation

Moderator—Alison Cernich, Ph.D., A.B.P.P.-Cn. (NICHD/NCMRR)

Rapporteur—Victoria Abraira, Ph.D.

   (a) Victoria Abraira, Ph.D.

   (a) Beth Winkelstein, Ph.D.

   (a) Carl Saab, Ph.D.

Wednesday, September 18

8:30 a.m.

Session 4:Central processing and modulation of biomechanical force

Moderator—Merav Sabri, Ph.D. (NCCIH)

Rapporteur—William Reed, D.C., Ph.D. and Carl Saab, Ph.D.

   (h) Fan Wang, Ph.D.

   (h) arl Saab, Ph.D.

   (h) Catherine Bushnell, Ph.D.

   (h) Laura Case, Ph.D.

   (h) Jian Kong, M.D.

   (a) William Reed, D.C., Ph.D.

10:45 a.m.

Session 5: Technology advances for force-based manipulations (skin, tissue, spinal)

Moderator—Grace Peng, Ph.D. (NIBIB)

Rapporteur—Medha Pathak, Ph.D.

   (a) Victor Barocas, Ph.D.

   (a/h) Gregory Gerling, Ph.D.

   (h) Medha Pathak, Ph.D.

1:30 p.m.

Session 6: General discussion and concluding remarks

Rapporteurs report

Summary—Ellen Lumpkin, Ph.D., Gert Bronfort, D.C., Ph.D.

This page last modified July 25, 2019