Canadian Memorial Chiropractic College's Dr. Martha Funabashi awarded New Frontiers in Research Fund to investigate spinal manipulation therapy

Press Release
May 24, 2019
Written by Press Release
TORONTO  CMCC is pleased to announce that CMCC Researcher Dr. Martha Funabashi has been awarded a New Frontiers in Research Fund Award, a Tri-Agency Institutional Programs Secretariat grant (CIHR, NSERC and SSHRC) for early career researchers to conduct international, interdisciplinary, high-risk and high-reward research.

Funabashi's research proposal won the award through the Exploration stream, one of three streams that comprise the New Frontiers in Research Fund, an initiative that enables researchers to work together to solve the world's most pressing issues. It seeks to inspire highly innovative projects that defy current research paradigms, propose a unique scientific direction, bring disciplines together beyond the traditional disciplinary approaches, and/or use different perspectives to solve existing problems.

"The award of this grant signals a recognition of the importance of chiropractic research within a broad scientific milieu," says Vice President, Academic, Dr. Christine Bradaric-Baus, "I am excited to see this support of Dr. Funabashi's important research, which will further clarify the safety of spinal manipulation for patients with disc herniation."

Low back pain is currently the lead cause of disabilities worldwide. Spinal manipulative therapy (SMT) is a popular option for people with low back pain with increasing scientific evidence supporting its effectiveness for these patients, which includes patients with lumbar disc herniation. This study seeks to provide high-quality evidence regarding SMT's safety for lumbar disc herniation patients, significantly contributing to the evidence-based management of lumbar disc herniation.

Funabashi originally trained as a physiotherapist and subsequently earned a master's degree in neuroscience and a PhD in Rehabilitation Sciences. Her research will focus on the effects of spinal manipulation therapy on intervertebral discs and is entitled: Spinal manipulation therapy causes lumbar disc herniation: myth or fact? She will be working with Dr. Dhara Amin a mechanical engineer with a PhD in biomedical engineering, Dr. John Costi, a mechanical engineer with a PhD in biomechanics and Dr. Greg Kawchuk, a chiropractor with a PhD in bioengineering. Amin and Costi are at Flinders University in Adelaide, Australia and Kawchuk is at the University of Alberta, in Edmonton.

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