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Beyond A Doubt, Adjusting The Spine Changes Brain Function

We are very excited to announce that another Spinal Research Foundation facilitated research has been published in a highly reputable journal [1]. The study, undertaken by Heidi Haavik, Kelly Holt, Bernadette Murphy and others is published in the journal Neural Plasticity. And the results are very exciting for chiropractic!

The journal Neural Plasticity boasts an impact factor of 3.5 (as a comparison, The Journal of Manipulative and Physiological Therapeutics has an impact factor of 1.5.) 

This from Heidi Haavik [2]:

“We do know that spinal function does affect brain function. There’s now solid evidence that adjusting the spine changes brain function. This is the fourth time that the effect of adjusting the spine has on the brain has been studied. This last time it was studied and confirmed by an independent medical researcher.”

Click here to read research paper


Chiropractic, Sensorimotor Integration And Function

Professor Bernadette Murphy, University of Ontario Institute of Technology


Research has shown that chiropractic adjustments can improve reaction time, improve the timing of when postural muscles switch on, and improve the ability to perform tasks requiring co-ordination. The part of the brain which could be involved with these effects is the cerebellum, receiving information from the joints and muscles and communicating with all the other regions of the brain. This means that if there is a problem with the neck, it may not only cause neck pain, but it could actually affect the timing and co- ordination of movement and performing skills, as a result of the neck joints and muscles sending distorted feedback to the cerebellum. Thus, the cerebellum cannot perform optimally in its role in blending information from the brain and body. This project will further investigate how the cerebellum functions and how chiropractic adjustments affect the way that the cerebellum processes input from the joints and muscles from the hand and forearm. This project also plans to compare changes in the function of the cerebellum to the way that people perform tasks with their upper limbs following chiropractic adjustments. Tasks such as throwing, learning of new skills that challenge timing and use the hand muscles, and repositioning a subject`s upper limb in space.

This research has the potential to be making a fundamental contribution to our understanding of the role and mechanism behind spinal adjustments. This will also help scientists to understand more about the way that the cerebellum functions when incoming sensory input is altered by spinal dysfunction. This work could have very important implications, perhaps suggesting that chiropractic care may be able to play a role beyond treating pain, and in fact possibly benefiting everyone.

Impact of Research


• World Federation of Chiropractic Biennial meeting 2015 - First Prize


• Baarbe J, Holmes MWR, Murphy HE, Haavik H, Murphy BA. Influence Subclinical Neck Pain on the Ability to Perform a Mental Rotation Task: A Four Week Longitudinal Study with a Healthy Control Group Comparison. Accepted, Journal of Manipulative and Physiological Therapeutics Volume 39, Issue 1, Pages 23–30.


• Baarbé, J.*, Yielder, P., Haavik, H., Holmes, M., Murphy, B. (Accepted) Subclinical neck pain impairs the cerebellar response to motor training which is normalized following treatment with spinal manipulation. “Action & Perception: Cognition, Coding and Clinical Populations”; Canadian Action and Perception Network (CAPnet)-Canadian Physiological Society (CPS) Satellite Symposium of the Canadian Association of Neuroscience 10th Annual Meeting, Toronto, Canada, May 2016.

• Baarbé, J.*, Murphy, B., Haavik, H., Holmes, M. Subclinical Neck Pain Alters Upper Limb Kinematics during Dart Throwing. (Accepted) “Action & Perception: Cognition, Coding and Clinical Populations”; Canadian Action and Perception Network (CAPnet)-Canadian Physiological Society (CPS) Satellite Symposium of the Canadian Association of Neuroscience 10th Annual Meeting, Toronto, Canada, May 2016. 


The Breakthrough Research All Women Need To Know About  - Chiropractic care does impact 
 pelvic floor control 

The results are in, the research report has been approved for publication [1], and we thought you’d like the scoop. This is big news for women and for chiropractors alike!

Chiropractic care can have an impact on pelvic floor muscles.


Pregnant women who received chiropractic care had a greater ability to relax their pelvic floor muscles at rest.

This relaxation of the pelvic floor muscles may mean that chiropractic care could be of benefit to pregnant women, as it may help them have a natural vaginal delivery.

Why this study matters. Your pelvic floor muscles are integral to the birth process, and to the prevention of incontinence and other issues, which makes this an exciting piece of knowledge for chiropractors and for women receiving chiropractic care.

Chiropractic care may actually enhance your chances of having a natural, complication free childbirth. This is better for both mother and baby.

"If we can have uncomplicated, natural vaginal delivery without drugs and intervention, the baby is better off and the woman is better off. This study we have just done suggests chiropractic care can help women by relaxing their pelvic floor muscles.” Neuroscientist and Chiropractic Researcher Heidi Haavik

Pregnancy, childbirth and aging can put these muscles through their paces. Across the world, millions of women suffer from incontinence and related conditions, contributing to a massive emotional, physical, social and financial costs and stress.

1. Pelvic floor functional changes with spinal manipulation in pregnant and non-pregnant women: A pilot study. JMPT 2016. In Press.