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Chiropractic Research Review

Spinal Manipulation Elicits Physiological Changes

There has been little research into the physiological effects of spinal manipulation techniques used to relieve pain and improve joint movement. The aim of this study was to establish whether a grade III posteroanterior mobilization technique applied centrally to the cervical spine would affect respiratory and cardiovascular indicators of sympathetic nervous system function in pain-free, normal volunteers.

A significant increase in respiratory rate, heart rate, systolic and diastolic blood pressure occurred during application of the technique to C5/6, when compared to the control and placebo conditions. There was little change in any of the measured variables during the placebo condition. This study provides objective evidence that application of this mobilization technique elicits changes in sympathetic nervous system activity distinct from placebo in pain-free individuals.

McGuiness J, Vicenzino B, Wright A. Influence of a cervical mobilization technique on respiratory and cardiovascular function. Manual Therapy, Nov. 1997;2(4), pp216-20. Reprints: Tel: (+44)(0) 1279 623924; Fax: (+44)(0) 1279 639609

Chiropractic Research Review

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