Chiropractic Adjustments Change Brain Function

By Doctor Paul Calladine (Chiro)

Lyons Road Family Chiropractic - Drummoyne

Study: 20% increase in brain function...that's exciting

brain function adjustment chiropractic

There is new research out that demonstrates a link between adjusting the spine and improving brain function. This research, published in the highly reputable journal 'Neural Plasticity', has produced some very exciting results including a measure of 20% increase in brain function.

The study involved collaboration between researchers from Denmark, Canada and Australia. One of the lead researchers, Heidi Haavik, commented:


 "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."


The research was conducted in an independent medical professor's lab, which is an interesting point to note. All the data was collected and analysed by scientists who had little bias or preconceived notions on chiropractic. 

What are the implications?

Apart from confirming again that adjusting the spine has an effect on the brain, this research indicates that adjustments have a positive effect on the prefrontal cortex. Why is that important? The history of research on the prefrontal cortex is extensive, and we know that the prefrontal cortex is an extremely important part of the brain. This region processes information relating to memory, perception and cognitive function (Siddiqui). 


The research shows that spinal adjustments increase activity in this part of the brain. In fact, "the study showed a change in brain function by almost 20% on average”. As Haavik explains:


"An effect on the function of the prefrontal cortex could explain many previous research results, such as improvements in sensorimotor function relevant to falls-prevention; better joint-position sense in both the upper limb and the lower limb; improved muscle strength in lower limb muscles; better pelvic floor control; and better ability to carry out mental rotation of objects."


Chiropractors have long observed a wide range of changes in people following their adjustments, including better focus and improved coordination and movement. This research serves as another step towards understanding just how some of these observations may be explained and supported by science. 

So chiropractic adjustments have more benefits than previously thought?

The team of researchers behind this study are excited about the evidence regarding the location of changes post-adjustment. As Haavik explains:


"This is solid scientific evidence that adjusting the spine changes the way the prefrontal cortex of the brain is processing information from the arm. It demonstrates we change the way the brain works and shows that spinal function impacts brain function. One of the most interesting things about the changes we observed was that the prefrontal cortex is responsible for behaviour, goal directed tasks, decision making, memory and attention, intelligence, processing of pain and emotional response to it, autonomic function, motor control, eye movements and spatial awareness." 

Note: this study can be regarded as basic science research and not clinical research. We are not suggesting better management or treatment of diseases as a result of this research. Rather, we are simply presenting the findings, asking questions and thinking about the future of this type of research.

Chiropractic care and your health

What this study shows is that each time you're adjusted, your brain function shows positive change. A brain that's functioning better is sure to have flow on effects to the rest of your body. Here at Lyons Road Family Chiro we have over 20 years experience caring for the local community. We have seen first hand the positive change that chiropractic can have on people. From reducing back pain to addressing headaches and improving posture, there are many ways that chiropractic may help you.

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Take Action Today

Would you like to learn more about chiropractic and how it may benefit your health? To book a chiropractic consultation at Lyons Road Family Chiro please phone (02) 9819 6182 or email us today. We have a New Patient Consultation for all new patients.

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Dr Paul Calladine

About Dr Paul Calladine B.Sc.(Biol.), B.Sc.(Anat.), M.Chiro. (Gonstead Diplomate) and Lyons Road Family Chiropractic.

Lyons Road Family Chiro and Dr Paul (Chiro) have been serving the health care needs of Sydney's Inner West and Drummoyne communities for over 26 years. Paul is originally from Canada and has obtained high levels of tertiary qualifications from both Canada and Australia. Paul is a wealth of information on all things natural, on fitness, long term health, nutrition and of course, chiropractic.

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  • Lelic et al. 'Manipulation of dysfunctional spinal joints affects sensorimotor integration in the pre-frontal cortex: A brain source localisation study,' Neural Plasticity, Volume 2016
  • Shazia Veqar Siddiqui et al. 'Neuropsychology of prefrontal cortex' Indian J Psychiatry. 2008 Jul-Sep; 50(3): 202–208
  • Australian Spinal Research Foundation. 'Research: Beyond A Doubt, Adjusting The Subluxated Spine Changes Brain Function.' April 12 2016. Link. Quotes from Heidi Haavik reference to this source.

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