Squeeze film lubrication for non-Newtonian fluids with application to manual medicine, 2013

Topics: hyaluronic acid, fascia, manual manipulation, massage therapy, vibrations

Authors: Hans Chaudhry, Bruce Bukiet, Max Roman, Antonio Stecco and Thomas Findley


In this paper, we computed fluid pressure and force on fascia sheets during manual therapy treatments using Squeeze Film Lubrication theory for non-Newtonian fluids. For this purpose, we developed a model valid for three dimensional fluid flow of a non-Newtonian liquid. Previous models considered only one-dimensional flows in two dimensions. We applied this model to compare the one-dimensional flow of HA, considered as a lubricating fluid, around or within the fascia during sliding, vibration, and back-and-forth sliding manipulation treatment techniques. The fluid pressure of HA increases dramatically as fascia is deformed during manual therapies. The fluid force increases more during vertical vibratory manipulation treatment than in constant sliding, and back and forth motion. The variation of fluid pressure/force causes HA to flow near the edges of the fascial area under manipulation in sliding and back and forth motion which may result in greater lubrication. The fluid pressure generated in manual therapy techniques may improve sliding and permit muscles to work more efficiently.

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