Hand speed during manipulation

“How fast should the manipulation be ….” is a common question on the course. Some are taught by feel and effect only. The following article offers quantitative data for how fast the movement is in clinical practice. We often use accelerometers on the Spinal Manipulation course to help students learn the technique and compare themselves to normal manipulation speeds. Take a look at this research.

Acceleration of clinician hand movements during spinal manipulative therapy

Gelley M, et al 2015


An observational design to examine the kinematics of spinal manipulative therapy (SMT) determining the acceleration characteristics of the manipulative input at the cervical, thoracic, and lumbar spinal regions. N=29. A wireless accelerometer attached to the clinician’s hand was used to characterize the thrust. Significant differences were found across the regions. Accelerations reached 15m/s/s.

This paper demonstrates that the hand accelerate rapidly during spinal manipulation. By inference developing hand speed is one of the key components when learning manipulation.

Manual Therapy 20 (2015) 342e348