Sherman Shares is a monthly publication of Sherman College.

  Vertebral Subluxation Research Conference a Success
by Ed Owens, M.S., D.C., Director of Research

The Vertebral Subluxation Research Conference, held October 11-12, was a great success again this year with an excellent slate of speakers and a good turnout of practitioners in the audience. Sherman College researchers contributed six presentations while presenters from the field made up the balance.

Faculty members John Hart and Pat Kuhta, D.C.s, joined students from the research department (Eric Potocki, Andrew Ashton, JP Park and Heenam Park) in delivering presentations on their projects. Hart presented his work on the acclimation time recommended for paraspinal thermographic scanning. Kuhta presented very recent results from her study of the changes that occur in occipitoatlantal alignment as measured on x-ray with changes in patients’ head position. Students presented papers on surface EMG research and palpatory location of skeletal landmarks.

Sherman College Director of Research Ed Owens, M.S., D.C., was the research conference moderator and presenter of three research papers.

Field doctors Gary Knutson, Robert Leach, Dan Collins, Julie Hunt and Michael Burcon, D.C.s, gave presentations on their research oriented to the clinical assessment methods they use in practice. Knutson spoke on the relationship between supine functional leg length inequality and lumbar muscle endurance. Leach and Collins gave presentations on the development and reliability of the Pulstar FRAS device as well a discussing plans for a randomized controlled trial of the clinical utility of the device. Hunt gave a presentation on the impressive literature that exists in support of Orthogonally-based upper cervical chiropractic techniques.

Robert Leach, D.C., presents and discusses the PulStar device.

Research presenter Mike Burcon, D.C., demonstrates a leg check.

Mike Burcon, D.C., gave a description of the method he uses in his practice to assess vertebral subluxation, including examples from his case files. Burcon’s presentation ended with an interactive research study designed with the help of Sherman College Director of Research Ed Owens, M.S., D.C., and the conference attendees.

After reviewing what are considered the most important criteria for a reliability study, Owens facilitated the development of a research project on the spot. Attendees divided themselves into subjects and examiners and actually carried out the study at the end of the day on Saturday. Owens tabulated the results overnight and presented the findings for evaluation and discussion at the first session on Sunday morning.

Research conference attendees joined the philosophy conference attendees for special presentations delivered after lunch on Saturday by Gerald Clum, D.C., President of Life College of Chiropractic-West and Reed Phillips, D.C., President of the Southern California Health Sciences University and the Los Angeles College of Chiropractic.

The conference proceedings can be viewed on the Sherman College Research web page. Go to and view the “Subluxation Conference” page to access the complete list of presentation abstracts.