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Scholar Series Next Wednesday, September 27

by Anna Karras on 2023-09-20T13:53:00-04:00 in Health & Medicine, Scholar Series | 0 Comments

Next Wednesday we will be hosting our first Scholar Series of the semester! We hope you will be able to join us for a free lunch and some great discussion. 

Our first talk will be led by Dr. Robert Sillevis who is an Associate Professor, Chair of the Rehabilitation Sciences Department, and Director of the Physical Therapy Program in the Marieb College of Health and Human Services. His body of work has focused on advancing therapeutic methods of managing pain in the lower- and upper-back, pain resulting from cervicogenic headaches and from ankle ligament injuries. 

Through a variety of studies, Dr. Sillevis has worked on techniques to alleviate back pain from the lower back all the way through to the neck. A study applying tape containing magnetic particles applied to the skin of the paravertebral region demonstrated an immediate effect on the functioning of the autonomic nervous system, which, in turn, resulted in a decrease in overall pain in sacral, lumbar, and lower thoracic spine. Turning to the upper-back, Dr. Sillevis built upon studies demonstrating the effectiveness of dry needling—that is, when a fine needle is used to penetrate the skin, subcutaneous tissues, and muscle tissues in order to mechanically affect and disrupt tissues without the use of an anesthetic—to target specific structures including muscle fibers, myofascial trigger points, tendons, ligaments, fascia, and soft tissues. 

While the procedure has been shown to immediately increase range of motion and to decrease pain, his work found that these effects were maintained when leaving the needles in place for at least 18 minutes. Thus, leaving the dry needles in situ for a longer period of time may result in additional effects based on the increased activity of the sympathetic nervous system. His work on cervicogenic headache—headaches which originate in the neck and can spread to the frontal, temporal, and orbital regions—has been critical to better understanding and treating this elusive affliction. 

Dr. Sillevis has conducted a study of cadavers relating to positional faults, movement restrictions and musculoskeletal ultrasounds. The results of his studies are helping people lead fuller and more active lives.

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