The therapeutic mechanism of spinal adjustment (SA) for low back pain patients remains elusive. One promising mechanism is the potential for SA to influence the different biomechanics and neuromuscular control of spine movement in low back pain patients. Our goal is to investigate the effect of SA on neuromuscular control of coordination patterns between the pelvis and thorax in low back pain patients. These data would provide clinicians and researchers with evidence for the mechanistic foundation of SA, and may also provide an objective outcome for clinical prediction rules to identify patients who are likely to improve with SA.

Grant Value: $20,000
Chief Investigator:
Dr Samuel Howarth – Canadian Memorial Chiropractic College & Dr Bernadette Murphy – University of Ontario Institute of Technology
Status: Completed

Researcher Update:

  • Final Update October 2023
    The final analysis has been completed. Thoracopelvic coordination was operationalised using continuous relative phase. Two measures were extracted that related to the overall coordination pattern (mean absolute relative phase) and the variability of the coordination pattern from one gait cycle to the next (deviation phase).
    We were unable to replicate the previous finding of differences in thoracopelvic coordination between people with and without low back pain. Furthermore, neither the coordination nor the variability of coordination were different following SMT.There are many potential explanations for these findings. Two of these are the large amount of between-subject variability for coordination patterns and the high-functioning status of our participants with low back pain.