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Adjusting the Subluxated Spine Changes Brain Function

Published with permission from the Australian Spinal Research Foundation.

graphical representation of top of head with jigsaw piece inside.

Research: Adjusting the spine changes brain function by almost 20%, possibly in the prefrontal cortex.

“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.” said Heidi Haavik, one of the researchers behind this recent study, published in the Journal of Neural Plasticity1.

And, this study indicates that adjustments impact the function of the prefrontal cortex. Haavik is particularly excited about what this implies:

“The latest study suggests that the changes that we do see in the brain when we adjust the spine do occur in the prefrontal cortex. That part of the brain is like the conductor in the brain.”

Such a finding could explain many of the previous findings of chiropractic’s effects.

“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.” observed Haavik.

If, as this research suggests, adjusting improves prefrontal cortex activity, a part of the brain that is responsible for just so much higher level function, then what does this mean in terms of chiropractic’s impact on things like behaviour, decision making, memory and attention, intelligence, processing of pain and emotional response to it, autonomic function, motor control, eye movements and spatial awareness?

Why This Study Matters

Again, this study not only shows that when we adjust subluxations we change brain function.

It changes activity by 20%, just by adjusting.

And this effect may be on the conductor in the brain.

This shows us that every time we’re adjusting someone, we’re having a big, positive effect on the brain. And a brain that’s functioning differently and conducting its activities better is sure to have an effect on the body.

1 Lelic et al. “Manipulation of dysfunctional spinal joints affects sensorimotor integration in the pre-frontal cortex: A brain source localization study,”
Neural Plasticity, Volume 2016

More quality chiropractic research facilitated by donors to The Spinal Research Foundation.
View the original press release on their website.