Samuel Howarth, BSc, MSc, PhD

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Titles: Director, Human Performance Research & McMorland Family Research Chair in Mechanobiology
  Associate Professor and McMorland Family Research Chair in Mechanobiology
Department: Research and Innovation


I was first introduced to research in the summer between the second and third years of my undergraduate program at the University of Waterloo. Working in Dr. Stuart McGill’s lab, my first few projects focused on computational aspects of determining stability for the low back. My research shifted toward low back occupational biomechanics, injury mechanisms, and injury thresholds for my doctoral studies that were completed in Dr. Jack Callaghan’s lab, also at the University of Waterloo. Since arriving at CMCC in the summer of 2011, I have continued to evaluate the biomechanical demands of different occupational tasks. My recent work has been directed toward understanding the biomechanics of the chiropractic adjustment from the patient’s perspective. I have also branched into quantitative analysis of human movement, which is where my current interests lie. Future work will investigate whether spinal manipulative therapy influences biomechanical aspects of movement. I, along with colleagues at CMCC are also interested in understanding the biomechanics of how chiropractors perform spinal manipulative therapy. As Director of CMCC’s Human Performance Laboratory, I am also responsible for mentoring faculty and graduate residents toward completion of their research projects. The scope of these projects is broad. Examples of recently completed work include: hip and low back kinematics during the golf swing, shoulder muscle activities during the Turkish Get-Up exercise, effects of fatigue on scapular kinematics in neck pain patients, and vertebral artery strains in cadavers during cervical spinal manipulation. A complete list of my publications can be found on Google Scholar or ResearchGate

Other Affiliations

Member, Canadian Society for Biomechanics Adjunct Graduate Faculty, Faculty of Health Sciences, University of Ontario Institute of Technology Special Graduate Faculty, Department of Human Health and Nutritional Sciences, University of Guelph Honorary Research Associate, School of Graduate Studies, University of New Brunswick Assistant Professor (Status Only), Faculty of Kinesiology and Physical Education, University of Toronto

Industry Expertise

Forensic Biomechanics Consultant, Pario Engineering and Environmental Sciences

Selected Publications

  1. Zabihhosseinian M., Holmes M., Howarth S., Ferguson B., and Murphy, B. Neck muscle fatigue differentially alters scapular and humeral kinematics during humeral elevation in subclinical neck pain patients versus healthy controls. Journal of Electromyography and Kinesiology 33(1) 73-82 2017.
  2. D’Angelo K., Triano J.J., Kawchuk G.N., and Howarth, S.J. Patient-induced reaction forces and moments are influenced by variations in spinal manipulative technique. Spine 42(2) E71-E77 2017.
  3. La Delfa, N.J., Grondin, D.E., Cox, J., Potvin, J.R., and Howarth, S.J. The biomechanical demands of manual scaling on the shoulders and neck of dental hygienists. Ergonomics 60(1) 127-137 2017.
  4. Bell, S., D’Angelo, K., Kawchuk, G.N., Triano, J.J., and Howarth, S.J. Procedure selection and patient positioning influence spine kinematics during high-velocity low-amplitude spinal manipulation applied to the low back. Journal of Manipulative and Physiological Therapeutics. (in press, October 17, 2016)
  5. Beaudette, S.M., Howarth, S.J., Graham, R.B., and Brown, S.B. On the use of a Euclidean norm function for the estimation of local dynamic stability from 3D kinematics using time-delayed Lyapunov analyses. Medical Engineering and Physics. 38(10) 1139-1145 2016.
  6. Howarth, S.J., Grondin, D.E., La Delfa, N.J., Cox, J., and Potvin, J.R. Working position influences the biomechanical physical demands of the lower back during dental hygiene. Ergonomics 59(4) 545-555 2016.
  7. Howarth, S.J., D’Angelo, K., and Triano, J.J. A new model to derive patient low back loads during high-velocity low-amplitude spinal manipulation. Journal of Manipulative and Physiological Therapeutics 39(3) 176-184 2016.

A complete list of my publications can be found on Google Scholar or ResearchGate.