What is Chiropractic Biophysics (CBP)?

In December 1980, the Chiropractic Biophysics Technique was created by Drs. Donald Harrison, Daniel Murphy and Deanne Harrison and for :physics applied to biology in chiropractic.; Until 1980, the majority of chiropractors were attempting to adjust single vertebral subluxations with specific lines of drive. While a few upper cervical techniques could demonstrate some before and after X-ray changes, in general, the adjusting of single vertebra did not result in X-ray changes. In March 1980, Dr. Don Harrison originated postural set-ups that he coined :Mirror Image;. Clinically, these adjusting set-ups were found to result in postural and X-ray changes.

For these new Mirror Image patient positions, Dr. Don Harrison placed the patient in their opposite posture. These Harrison Mirror Image positions can be described as :reflecting; the patient・s head, ribcage and/or pelvis across the median-sagittal plane in the AP view; and positioning the head, ribcage and/or pelvis across the mid-frontal plane in the lateral view. Prior to performing CBP Mirror Image postural set-ups, the patient・s initial presenting abnormal posture(s) must be exactly determined.

Why Traction?
Biomechanical studies have established that long-term biomechanical adaptation requires a constant force over a period of time. Traction delivers a constant force over a period of time. An important and unique aspect of the CBP technique is the utilization of traction. In line with this thinking, long-term corrections of abnormal spinal postural distortions would require a force applied over a period of time, and this can be achieved with traction. Clinical investigation of this premise has proven it to be correct; our traction protocols have proven to result in long-term correction of spinal postural distortions. From 1980-1986, he originated cervical extension traction methods with drop table adjustments, instrument adjustments, and exercises in the mirror image posture to restore the sagittal cervical curve.

Goals of Care
Abnormal posture causes traction on the hindbrain, cranial nerves, cervical cord, and spinal nerve roots from flexion of the head and neck, which can be correlated to kyphotic cervical configurations. It is obvious that abnormal posture affects the nervous system, i.e. abnormal posture is a type of subluxation as it has the necessary two components of spinal misalignment and nerve interference. Consequently, uncorrected asymmetries in posture and motion adversely impact the individual・s health and well-being. Many in chiropractic are turning away from structural outcomes of care to concentrate on pain reduction, improved ranges of motion (ROM), and other functional outcomes. In contrast, the goal of CBP technique is to correct these asymmetries to the greatest degree, minimizing spinal degeneration, improve neurological dysfunction, and improve systemic health, while still documenting improvements in pain and functional based outcomes.

Duration of Care
To establish optimal and average sagittal models, X-ray line drawing procedures were utilized. CBP protocols require that the doctor measures the patient・s abnormal posture and measures the displacements on spinal radiographs. The postural and spinal displacements are the determining factors for deriving the patient・s individualized program of care. Patients are given corrective care for about 30 visits (2-3 times per week is recommended). To determine if the protocol of corrective care for each individual is achieving the desired normalization of posture and spinal alignment, re-examinations are suggested at 30 visit intervals. Some researches stated that the average chronic pain patient achieved 50% correction from their initial position towards our radiographic normals with significant decreased neck pain (Figure 1).

The frequency and duration of further care recommended to the patient at the re-evaluation depends on their improvements in structural and functional based outcomes. If at the first corrective care re-evaluation, less than average improvement is attained on comparative radiographs, then there is indication that at least another block of 30 visits will be necessary for optimal spinal correction.


Figure 1:Before treatment, loss of cervical lordosis (left). After treatment, correction to a normal lordosis (right)

Table 1GChiropractic Biophysics Neck Traction Vs Physiotherapy Neck Traction