The primary research interests of Ralph E. Gay, M.D., are low back pain and the biomechanics of the lumbar spine. He is particularly interested in the effect of loading and off-loading stress on intervertebral discs, the biomechanical effects of spinal manipulation, and the effects of nonsurgical treatments for low back pain.
- Measurement of vertebral motion with videofluoroscopy
- Effect of flexion-distraction manipulation on intradiscal pressure
- Effect of vertebral bone mineral density distribution on fracture risk
Dr. Gay is part of a multidisciplinary research team in the Orthopedic Biomechanics Laboratory. Other active spine projects in the lab include predictive models of spinal fracture in osteoporosis (validation of finite element analysis) and the imaging of taut bands in painful muscles using magnetic resonance elastography.
Significance to patient care
Although it is well known that back pain is affected by motion, the relationship between spinal motion and pain is poorly understood. Clarification of that relationship will yield new innovative treatments for back pain.