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Center for Mechanistic studies

Sympathetic Vasoconstrictor Responses in the Upper Limbs Following Different Controlled Mechanical Stimulations of Somatic Cervical Tissues in Humans


SRI Scientists

  • Rafael Zegarra-Parrodi, DO(Europe)
  • Brian Degenhardt, DO


The study will investigate the influence of a standardized OMT applied on the cervicothoracic (CT) junction with different amounts of pressure on pSkBF changes and on pulse rate variability (PRV), an indirect measurement of the peripheral sympathetic nervous system (pSNS) function.


  1. Determine if repeated, well-controlled unilateral application of MSSST to T1 is associated with a minimal short-term change of 20% from baseline in pSkBF in the mid-fingers as a result of sympathetic vasoconstrictor reflex mechanisms
  2. Determine if different amounts of non-noxious pressure repeatedly applied to T1 will invoke different short-term pSkBF responses in the mid-fingers
  3. Determine if shortterm pSkBF responses in both mid-fingers following repeated unilateral MSSST application are side-specific to ascertain if dominant reflex mechanisms are supraspinal or segmental.


  1. Zegarra-Parodi R., Kvam V.K., Park P.Y.S., Shurtz N.R., Webb S., Degenhardt B.F.Peripheral Skin Blood Flow Changes After Different Controlled Cervical Osteopathic Mobilizations: A Pilot Study. J Am Osteopath Assoc August 2013;113:e1-e47; doi:10.7556/jaoa.2013.026
  1. Zegarra-Parodi, R. Peripheral skin blood flow changes following spinal mobilization/manipulation. Clinical Research Seminar; Palmer College of Chiropractic, Davenport, IA (USA), May 2013. (Presentation)
  2. Degenhardt, B. & Zegarra-Parodi, R. Skin blood flow and autonomic nervous system changes following spinal OMT. 3rd International Conference of Osteopathic Medicine; Pescara (Italy), September 2013. (Presentation)
  3. Zegarra-Parodi, R., Kvam V.K., Park P.Y.S, Shurtz N.R., Webb S. & Degenhardt B. Peripheral skin blood flow changes after different controlled cervical osteopathic mobilizations: A pilot study. American Osteopathic Association’s 118th Annual Osteopathic Medical Conference and Education (OMED 2013); Las Vegas (USA), October 2013 (Poster Presentation)