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Michael L. Kuchera, D.O., FAAO, FNAOME

Professor & Chairperson of Osteopathic Manipulative Medicine

mkuchera@marian.edu

Research Interests

I have devoted my professional career to promoting the growth of a “culture of research” within the osteopathic profession and manual medicine fields through collaboration, individual research activities, advocacy for infrastructure, and mentorship.

The individual and collaborative research topics that interest me most are broadly clustered around documentation of the diagnosis of somatic dysfunction and its treatment with osteopathic manipulative treatment (OMT). My research embraces outcomes applications in both educational and clinical arenas.  

Educationally applied research topics (see Publications) have employed the use of carefully calibrated finger pressure-sensors, pelvic asymmetry models, accelerometers, and measures of tissue stiffness and resilience (hysteresis curves). Careful attention to documenting interexaminer reliability of diagnostic palpatory examinations using the protocol advocated by the International Federation of Manual / Musculoskeletal Medicine (FIMM) has also been a major focus of my activity.

Clinically applied research topics (see Publications) have been and will continue to be related to osteopathic approaches to individuals with postural decompensation (especially spondylolisthesis), peripheral nerve entrapment (especially carpal tunnel syndrome), quality of life in neurodegenerative and rheumatological disorders (including multiple sclerosis, Parkinson disease, fibromyalgia), and an understanding of mechanisms underlying various OMT approaches (especially lymphatic pump).

Collaborative research and mentorship remains a major factor in choosing the research projects that I study. Prior to coming to Marian University College of Osteopathic Medicine (MU-COM) I was the principal investigator of a five-center multiple sclerosis study supported by the Veterans Administration and the Department of Defense; I also mentored numerous osteopathic physicians-in-training conducting thesis-level neuromusculoskeletal masters research. Here at MU-COM, I and my Human Performance & Biomechanics Laboratory have joined both the Spine & Surface Topography Study Group (SSTSG) and the A.T. Still Research Institute’s Center for Research in OMM Education (CROMME).

It is hoped that such research and collaboration with student, resident, basic science, and healthcare colleagues will further build the evidence-base needed to optimize our understanding of three of the major approaches used in an osteopathic clinical practice: the Postural-Biomechanical, the Respiratory-Circulatory, and the Neurological-Autonomic Models. 


Publications – Selected Textbooks (3 of 5)

Kuchera WA, Kuchera MLOsteopathic Principles in Practice, (1st, 2nd, 2nd revised edns): KCOM Press 1991-93; Greyden Press 1994; Japanese Lang. edn (2005) Tokyo. 701pp.

 

Kuchera ML, Kuchera WA. Osteopathic Considerations in Systemic Dysfunction (1st, 2nd, 2nd revised, 2nd rerevised edns). KCOM Press 1990-93; Greyden Press 1994; Japanese Lang. Edn 2007; Italian Lang. edn 2010. 232pp.

 

Kuchera ML, Kuchera WA.  Osteopathic Considerations in Head, Eye, Ear, Nose, Throat (HEENT) Disorders. Greyden Press; 2012.

Publications – Selected Chapters (27 of 35 Chapters)

Kuchera ML. An integrated perspective on the differential diagnosis of myofascial points. In Myers HL: Compendium Edition, Clinical Application of Counterstrain. Tucson Osteopathic Medical Association, 2012; 15-28.

 

Kuchera ML. Lymphatics approach. In Chila AG (ed): Foundations of Osteopathic Medicine (3rd edn), Lippincott, Williams & Wilkins, 2011; 786-808.

Kuchera ML. Postural considerations in osteopathic diagnosis and treatment. In Chila AG (ed): Foundations of Osteopathic Medicine (3rd edn), Lippincott, Williams & Wilkins, 2011;437-483.

Kuchera ML. Lower extremities. In Chila AG (ed), Foundations of Osteopathic Medicine (3rd edn), Lippincott, Williams & Wilkins, 2011; 602-639.

Kuchera ML. Adult with chronic pain and depression. In Chila AG (ed): Foundations of Osteopathic Medicine (3rd edn), Lippincott, Williams & Wilkins, 2011; 903-909.

Fossum C, Kuchera ML, Devine WH, Wilson K. Chapman’s Reflexes. In Chila AG (ed): Foundations of Osteopathic Medicine (3rd edn), Lippincott, Williams & Wilkins, 2011; 853-865.

Kuchera ML. Staking out the “high ground:” Thomas L. Northup Lecture, 2000. In King HH (ed): The Northup Book (Vol II): A Memorial Tribute to Thomas L. Northup, DO. Indianapolis IN: American Academy of Osteopathy, 2009; 83-87.

Kuchera ML: Chapter 2.3.1 Concepts: Somatic dysfunction. In Hutson M, Ellis R (eds): Musculoskeletal Medicine. Edinborough: Oxford Press, 2005; 27-45.

Kuchera ML:  Chapter 3.3 Regional somatic dysfunction. In Hutson M, Ellis R (eds): Musculoskeletal Medicine. Edinborough: Oxford Press, 2005; 171-216.

Kuchera ML:  Chapter 4.3 Neuromusculoskeletal manual treatment of somatic dysfunction. In Hutson M, Ellis R (eds): Musculoskeletal Medicine. Edinborough: Oxford Press, 2005; 373-398.

Kuchera ML:  Chapter 4. Osteopathic considerations in neurology; In Oken BS (ed): Complementary Therapies in Neurology: An Evidence-Base Approach.  London: Parthenon Publishing, 2004; 49-90.

Scott RA, Kuchera ML, Patterson JJ. Orthopedics. In Ward RC (ed): Foundations of Osteopathic Medicine (2nd edn), Lippincott, Williams & Wilkins: Baltimore MD, 2003; 477-499.

Kuchera ML. Examination and diagnosis: an introduction. In Ward RC (ed): Foundations of Osteopathic Medicine (2nd edn), Lippincott, Williams & Wilkins: Baltimore MD, 2003; 566-573.

Kuchera ML, Kappler RE. Considerations of posture and group curves. In Ward RC (ed), Foundations of Osteopathic Medicine (2nd edn), Lippincott, Williams & Wilkins: Baltimore, MD, 2003; 580-590.

Kuchera ML, Kuchera WA. Radiographic aspects of the postural study. In Ward RC (ed): Foundations of Osteopathic Medicine (2nd edn), Lippincott, Williams & Wilkins: Baltimore MD, 2003; 591-602.

Kuchera ML. Postural considerations in coronal, horizontal, and sagittal planes. In Ward RC (ed): Foundations of Osteopathic Medicine (2nd edn), Lippincott, Williams & Wilkins: Baltimore MD, 2003; 603-632.

Kuchera ML. Lower extremities. In Ward RC (ed): Foundations of Osteopathic Medicine (2nd edn), Lippincott, Williams & Wilkins: Baltimore MD, 2003; 784-818.

Kuchera ML, McPartland JM. Myofascial trigger points as somatic dysfunction. In Ward RC (ed), Foundations of Osteopathic Medicine (2nd edn), Lippincott, Williams & Wilkins: Baltimore, MD, 2003; 1034-1050.

Kuchera ML, DiGiovanna, Greenman PE. Efficacy and complications. In Ward RC (ed): Foundations of Osteopathic Medicine (2nd edn), Lippincott, Williams & Wilkins: Baltimore MD, 2003; 1143-1152.

DiGiovanna E, Kuchera ML, Greenman P. Efficacy and complications. In Ward RC (ed): Foundations of Osteopathic Medicine, Williams & Wilkins: Baltimore MD, 1997; 1015-1024.

Kuchera ML. Travell and Simons' myofascial trigger points. In Ward RC (ed): Foundations of Osteopathic Medicine, Williams & Wilkins, Baltimore MD, 1997; 919-934.

Kuchera ML, McPartland J. Introduction to myofascial points. In Ward RC (ed): Foundations of Osteopathic Medicine, Williams & Wilkins, Baltimore MD, 1997; 915-918.

Kuchera ML, Professional and philosophical contributions of Professor I.M. Korr, in King H (ed) Collected Papers of I.M. Korr, Volume II, AAO Yearbook; 30-34, 1997.

Kuchera ML. Treatment of gravitational strain pathophysiology In Vleeming A (ed): Movement, Stability and Low Back Pain: the Essential Role of the Pelvis, Churchill Livingstone, Edinburgh, Chapter 39:1997; 477-499.

Kuchera ML. Osteopathy In: Encyclopedia of Alternative Medicine, pp. 118-127, Carlton Books, 1996.

Gilliar WG, Kuchera ML, Giulianetti DA.  Neurologic basis of manual medicine, Physical Medicine and Rehabilitation Clinics of North America 7(4):693-714, November 1996.

Kuchera ML. Gravitational stress, musculoligamentous strain and postural alignment, In Dorman T (ed): Spine: State of the Art Reviews 9(2):463-490, Hanley & Belfus, Inc., Medical Publishers, May 1995.

Kuchera ML. Gravitational strain pathophysiology: Parts I & II. In Vleeming et al (eds), Low Back Pain: The Integrated Function of the Lumbar Spine and Sacroiliac Joints. Edinburg: European Congress Committee; pp 659-693, 1995.

Publications – Selected Articles & Abstracts

Nelson J, Barnes P, Stouch B, Kuchera ML. A pilot study comparing two variations of occipitomastoid suture release and their effects on blood pressure and pulse rate in pre-hypertensive and hypertensive individuals compared to normotensive controls (abst). JAOA 2014;114(1):e3.

Barnes PL, Laboy F, Noto-Bell L, Ferencz V, Nelson J, Kuchera ML. A comparative study of cervical hysteresis characteristics after various osteopathic manipulative treatment (OMT) modalities. J of Bodyworks and Movement Therapies 2013; 17(1):89-94. http://dx.doi.org/10.1016/j.jbmt.2012.10.004 .  (Note: Judged as “Most Clinically Relevant Abstract” at the 3rd International Fascial Research Congress.)

Nelson JH, Lai H, Odutola O, Korsh JU, Frankhouser T, Thomas F, Vardy T, O’Brien S, Yagnik P, Wenzel K, Stoll S, Wallin MT, Stouch B, Kuchera ML. Effects of nonaerobic maximal effort exercise on fatigue and health-related quality of life in deconditioned patients with multiple sclerosis (abst). JAOA 2012; 112(8):530.

Lai H, O’Brien S, Yagnik P, Wenzel K, Wallin MT, Stoll S, Kuchera ML, Vargas I, Odutola O, Thomas F, Vardy T, Stouch B.  Analysis of functional status in multiple sclerosis patients after progressive nonaerobic high-intensity maximal effort exercise (abst). JAOA 2012; 112(8):546.

Kuchera ML, Irwin J, Myers NE, Ferencz V, Nelson J.  Documenting and comparing frequencies and forces used to perform lymphatic pump OMT manually and with use of a machine (abst).  JAOA 111(8):490-491, (Aug 2011).

Ferencz V, Casella FJ, Nelson J, Klucka G, Myers NE, Vardy TC, Kuchera ML. Using palpatory feedback technology feedback to improve interexaminer reliability (abst).  JAOA 111(8):490-491, (Aug 2011).

Kuchera ML, Myers NE, Ferencz V, Nelson J, Casella F. Comparing inter-examiner reliability levels when diagnosing male & female innominate dysfunction using a hemi-pelvis compression lateralization test and pelvic landmark levels (abst). Manuelle Medizin. 2010; 48: 369.

Kuchera ML, Casella F, Myers NE, Nelson J, Ferencz V.  Inter-examiner reliability of an anterior superior iliac spine compression test used to lateralize pelvic somatic dysfunction to the right side or not (abst). Manuelle Medizin. 2010; 48: 370.

Kuchera ML, Casella F, Nelson J, Ferencz V, Myers NE.  Effect of a prior anterior superior iliac spine compression testing on second assessor findings: Implications for inter-examiner reliability testing (abst). Manuelle Medizin. 2010; 48: 369.

Barnes PL, Noto-Bell L, Nelson J, Ferencz V, Nicholas A, L. Kuchera ML. A comparative study of cervical hysteresis characteristics after various osteopathic manipulative treatment (OMT) modalities (abst).  Manuelle Medizin. 2010; 48: 369.

Barnes PL, Dilzer E, Aguirre JL, Vinditto M, McAuley D, Kuchera ML. The use of Osteopathic Manipulative Treatment (OMT) in the enhancement of pulmonary function in an impoverished urban sector of Duran, Ecuador (abstract).  JAOA 110(8):447, (Aug 2010).

Jean NT, Kuchera ML, Williams L, Schoenfeldt B, Vardy T, Dombroski RT.  Manual Medicine (MM) physicians must develop their palpatory skills in order to accurately diagnose somatic dysfunction prior to and during treatment (abst).  JAOA 109(1):44-45, (Jan 2009).

Hammond RL, Alter JR,  Hartman RJ, Jean NT, Williams L, Malka EM, Stewart PE, Kuchera ML. A pilot investigation of the types of somatic dysfunctions and tender points associated with temporomandibular joint disorders (abst).  JAOA 109(1):40, (Jan 2009).

Williams L, Alter JR, Jean NT, Hammond RL, Hartman RJ, Stewart PE, Kuchera ML. A pilot study comparing facial exercise versus Pulsed Signal Therapy to treat patients with temporomandibular joint disorders (abst).  JAOA 109(1):48, (Jan 2009).

Overburger R, Hoyt JA, Daghigh F, Bell M, Schoenfeldt B, Bailey J, Kuchera ML. Comparing changes in serum nitric oxide levels and heart rate after Osteopathic Manipulative Treatment (OMT) using the Dalrymple pedal pump to changes measured after active exercise (abst).  JAOA 109(1):41-42, (Jan 2009).

Bailey J, Hoyt JA, Overburger R, Daghigh F, Bell M, Schoenfeldt B, Kuchera ML. Comparing changes in serum nitric oxide levels and heart rate after Periodic Acceleration Therapy (PAT) using an AT101TM Table to changes measured after active exercise (abst). JAOA 109(1):45, (Jan 2009).

Cohen V, Prutz T, Vardy T, Kuchera ML. Sensitivity and specificity of an imbalance test performed on a force plate in rested and sleep-deprived sample populations (abst), JAOA 109(1):45-46, (Jan 2009).

Braun M, Kuchera ML, Edwards CP, Jones DE, Borden T, Ondrasik N, Krueger MV. Six etiologies of low back pain found in the U.S. Army (abstract), JAOA 107(8):328-329, (Aug 2007).

Drames TR, Tratenberg MA, Yoo L, Stewart P, Vardy T, Dombroski RT, Kuchera ML. Development of an objective instrument and protocol to document two- and one-leg balance with and without visual input (abstract), JAOA 107(8):342-343, (Aug 2007). 

Cohen VA, Kuchera ML, Stewart PA. Influence of customized proprioceptive foot orthotics in posture, balance and pain (abstract), JAOA 107(8):336-337, (Aug 2007). 

Kuchera ML, Jean NT, Schoenfeldt B, Flynn S, Williams L, Vardy T, Dombroski RT.  Developing technology and protocols to measure pressure characteristics used by physicians and students for diagnosis and treatment of cervical somatic dysfunction (abstract), JAOA 107(8):333-334, (Aug 2007). 

Jean NT, Kuchera ML, Williams L, Schoenfeldt B, Vardy T, Dombroski RT. Measuring pressures used by physicians and students for cervical diagnosis of segmental somatic dysfunction using the Iso-TOUCH® Palpation Monitor System (abstract), JAOA 107(8):327-328, (Aug 2007). 

Yahnert JL, Hartman RJ, Stewart PE, Kuchera ML.   The role of osteopathic manipulative treatment in the treatment of primary fibromyalgia syndrome (abst), JAOA 106(8):472, (Aug 2006).

Feathers TA, Foley WM, Panzone J, Lyons JB, Yahnert J, Stewart PE, Kuchera ML. The effects of OMT on median nerve size and function in patients with carpal tunnel syndrome.  JAOA 106(8):477, (Aug 2006).

Foley WM, Kuchera ML. Lyons JB, Panzone J, Yahnert J, Stewart PE.  Effect of OMT on myofascial somatic dysfunction and objective parameters of severity in patients with carpal tunnel syndrome (abst).  JAOA 106(8):477, (Aug 2006).

Lyons JB, Foley WM, Panzone J, Stewart PE, Kuchera ML.  The use of diagnostic ultrasound for diagnosis of carpal tunnel syndrome as compared to nerve conduction studies (abst). JAOA 106(8):491, (Aug 2006).

Feathers TA, Foley WM, Panzone J, Lyons JB, Stewart PE, Kuchera ML. The use of musculoskeletal ultrasound in carpal tunnel syndrome to detect response to conservative care (abst).  JAOA 106(8):492, (Aug 2006).

Cohen A, Mertz J, Stewart PE, Warner MJ, Kuchera ML. Hysteresis as a measure of ankle dysfunction (abst).  JAOA 105(1):22, (Jan 2005).

Degenhardt BF, Kuchera ML.  Osteopathic evaluation and manipulative treatment in reducing the morbidity of otitis media: a pilot study.  JAOA 106(6): 327-334.

Achor RF, Kuchera ML, Dunworth DA. Cranial dysfunctions in relation to sacrum, ilium, and lumbar dysfunctions in cephalgia and non-cephalgia populations, The Cranial Letter/Cranial Academy 52(2):8-11; (May 1999).

McAdoo J, Kuchera ML, Reliability of cranial rhythmic impulse palpation (abst), JAOA 95(8):491; (Aug 1995).

Degenhardt BF, Kuchera ML.  Efficacy of osteopathic evaluation and manipulative treatment in reducing the morbidity of otitis media in children (abst), JAOA, 94(8):673, (Aug 1994).

Kuchera ML, Degenhardt B, Heard J, Blackorby E, McAdoo J. Objective measurement of segmental autonomic change (abst), JAOA 94(9):754, (Sept 1994).

Degenhardt BF, Kuchera, ML.  The prevalence of cranial dysfunction in children with a history of otitis media from kindergarten to third grade (abst), JAOA, 94(9):754, (Sept 1994).

Strait BW, Kuchera, ML.  Osteopathic manipulation for patients with confirmed mild, modest, and moderate carpal tunnel syndrome (abst), JAOA, 94(8):673, (August 1994).

Kuchera ML, Degenhardt BF, Heard J, Blackorby E, McAdoo J.  Objective measurement of segmental autonomic change (abst), JAOA, 94:9, (Sept 1994).

Kuchera ML, Bemben M, Lo KS, Kuchera WA.  Diagnosis and treatment of gravitational strain pathophysiology: Research and clinical experience correlates, Part I & II, KCOM Press, 1992.

Kuchera ML, Gitlin RS, Frey-Gitlin K.  Aging, lumbar lordosis, and low back pain (abstract). JAOA 92(9):1182; (Sept 1992).

Gitlin RS, Kuchera ML, Preston SC, Measurement of cervical range of motion after osteopathic manipulative treatment (OMT): a pilot study (abst), JAOA 92(9):1182; (Sept 1992).

Byrnes TR, Kuchera ML, Guffey JM, Steele KM, Beatty DR, Haman JL, Lockwood MD. Correlation of palpatory findings with visceral disease (abst), JAOA 92(9):1177; Sept 1992.

Lo KS, Kuchera ML, Preston SC, Jackson RW. Osteopathic manipulative treatment in fibromyalgia syndrome(abst), JAOA 92(9):1177; (Sept 1992).

Kuchera ML, Barton J.  Sagittal plane postural measurements (abst), JAOA 90(10):932, (Oct 1990).

Kuchera ML, Barton J.  Postural radiographic evaluation of lumbar lordosis, (abst) JAOA 90(10):931-932, (Oct 1990).

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