Spinal Adjustments; Two is Better Than One
I previously wrote about a study that found decreases in a muscle’s pain sensitivity after an adjustment to relevant areas of the spine. Now, a new study has been published that takes this idea one step further. Authors Laframboise, Vernon and Srbely set out to answer the question; if one adjustment has been shown to reduce muscle sensitivity, would a second adjustment reduce that muscle’s sensitivity even further?
The authors were looking at was something called dose-response which is the added effect of more treatments, which is something that has not been in previous research.
Similar to the study I referred to in the previous blog article, the researchers tested the effects of spinal adjustments to the neck to the pain sensitivity levels in the rotator cuff muscle in the shoulder. The reason why the adjustment was done to the neck was because the nerve that exits the spine at that level supplies the rotator cuff muscle. The researchers took 26 participants and randomly split them up into two groups. The first was given two spinal adjustments 30 minutes apart and the second received one real spinal adjustment then a fake spinal adjustment 30 minutes later. Every five minutes after each adjustment the pain sensitivity level of the rotator cuff muscle was measured with a tool called an algometer. What the researchers found was that the people that received two real adjustments had an 18% decrease in pain sensitivity (meaning, they were able to withstand more pain) after the second adjustment compared to only 4% decrease in pain sensitivity in the group that had a fake second adjustment.
So what does this all mean?
The study confirmed the researchers’ suspicions that spinal adjustments do have a dose-response relationship – so more two is better than one to reduce pain! This is a very interesting study that continues to shed light on what exactly spinal adjustments do. The science of chiropractic is growing and our level of understanding of the physiological processes that happen as a result of chiropractic adjustments is rising. This study does not suggest that after your adjustment you should come back in 30 minutes later for a second one but it does again show that the effects of spinal adjustments go beyond placebo and have an important physiological effect in reducing pain.
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