March 7, 2019

Stroke Study Published

A long awaited study on the effect of chiropractic care for stroke patients has been released, with the journal ‘Scientific Reports’ carrying Dr Kelly Holts latest offering. The study examined whether or not chiropractic care “could increase strength in weak plantar flexor muscles in chronic stroke patients [1].” Results are in and they are encouraging. The topic of chiropractic and stroke risk has long been the topic of hot debate, but by and large, the focus of those conversations has been on the risk of stroke for chiropractic patients. While research found no evidence for causation when it comes to […]
February 8, 2019

Chiropractic and Consciousness Part 4: The non-neurological correlates

In the last three weeks, we have covered many aspects of chiropractic’s interaction with consciousness, all involving the brain. The brain and consciousness have some level of interaction, and chiropractic could impact that interaction via neurological pathways (as has been reviewed in the previous articles) as well as via other mechanisms, which is the focus of today’s discussion. Chiropractic potentially impacts systems and functions that, in turn, could impact consciousness, such as the autonomic nervous system, glucose metabolism, the endocrine system, and our mental and emotional perception of our environment. These all impact our experience of life (i.e. consciousness) in […]
February 1, 2019

Chiropractic and Consciousness – How we Influence Brain Plasticity

The topic of how chiropractic care influences consciousness may sound like an entirely philosophical subject, but as we take a tour of the research we can see that the two are very much connected. Last week, in the second instalment of this series, we covered how even low back pain and subclinical neck pain can have an effect on consciousness. Now we move into a complex yet fascinating area of research – how chiropractic care can cause neuro-plastic changes in the brain, impacting not only pain and proprioception, but also cerebellar and prefrontal cortex activity. For the sake of this […]
January 24, 2019

Chiropractic And Consciousness: Part 2 – What The Research Says About Chiropractic And The Brain

It seems that the musculoskeletal/pain association is a hard one to shift when it comes to chiropractic, yet research is painting an interesting picture when it comes to how chiropractic can influence neurology. This month’s topic on the blog delves into something that has its roots in both research and philosophy, yet is in some ways an undiscovered frontier – can chiropractic influence consciousness? The unlikely starting point: chronic lower back pain, and subclinical neck pain. For the Foundation, the topic first arose when Nimrod Weiner presented on it at “The Gathering” in September. It was a highlight in a […]
December 10, 2018

Functional Neurology through a Chiropractic Specific Lens

To some, functional neurology is somewhat outside the chiropractic modality. To others, it is central to everything we do. When a recent article hit the Journal of Chiropractic and Manual Therapies, alleging that there was no evidence for the effectiveness of functional neurology, it provided an opportunity to reflect on common misunderstandings that surround the practice of functional neurology. We’ve already taken a look at the actual state of the evidence. Now it’s time to take a look at it from a chiropractic specific perspective. Dr Michael Hall, of Brain DC fame, is very much embedded in the chiropractic and […]
November 23, 2018

Functional Neurology: What is it And Where is the Evidence?

A recent article has hit the Journal of Chiropractic and Manual Therapies concluding that their search parameters found “no acceptable evidence on the effect or benefit of FN [functional neurology] in relation to various conditions and purported indications for intervention [1].“ On face value, it’s a damning review of a practice that spans not only chiropractic, but several other professions. However, a second look shows us that this is not a statement on the state of evidence for functional neurology, but an opportunity to broadly discuss what it comprises, how it can improve human function and where we can find […]
October 16, 2018

The Stress Series Part 5: Stress, Chiropractic & The Gut Brain

Welcome to the final instalment of our stress series. The gut is arguably one of the hottest topics in health at present. From the gut microbiome, to the role of fibre in feeding the microbiota, there’s a plethora of conversation happening around this significant chunk of our physiology. Yet one thing remains notably absent from the conversation: the fact that the gut houses our enteric nervous system, the gut brain (if you will), and it is inextricably linked with the rest of our nervous system via the vagus nerve. Ever had a gut feeling someone was a foe rather than […]
September 24, 2018

The Stress Series: Part 3 – Stress and Posture

Chiropractors and posture – they are a seamless fit. From the very first visit in clinic, posture is assessed. As subluxations are checked and corrected, posture can improve over time. But is posture just a symptom, or is it stressor that can kick off a physiological stress response impacting both brain and body? We’ve taken a quick look at the research to see what the deal is. In 2015, the Journal of Health Psychology published a randomized trial regarding posture and stress [1]. The hypothesis of whether or not muscular states were related to stress had been supported by research […]
September 11, 2018

The Stress Series: Part 1 – Stress Physiology – A Central Theme In Chiropractic?

What is chiropractic about? Explanations and theories abound. There are those who claim our only concrete offering sits firmly in the domain of back and neck pain, yet other research indicates impacts on brain function, cerebellar function, muscle drive, and much more. Over the course of this series, we will be taking a walk through a topic that is often thought to be simple yet, on a neurological and physiological level, is quite complex. Though checking and adjusting subluxations is what we as chiropractors do, there is one thing that has profound if not primary impacts on those very subluxations. […]
August 8, 2018

Subluxation vs. Subluxated: How HRV Can Help Map The Difference

[The following is an interview with Dr David Fletcher in which he discusses his approach to objectively measuring the subluxation and communicating findings to patients. It is not a paid advertisement or product endorsement.] Communicating chiropractic is an important art. We know what we do works. How do we get this message to the ears of the people who could benefit so greatly from the adjustment? One strategy that is becoming more and more prevalent in literature is HRV, or heart rate variability. It’s a topic that is gaining momentum, with case reports showing sustained improvements under chiropractic care and […]
July 30, 2018

Chiropractic Care Shortens The Cortical Silent Period

Within the world of chiropractic care, a new stream of research is emerging that moves us further away from pain and symptoms, and more towards the affect of the chiropractic adjustment on brain and body. As we advance our understanding of the vertebral subluxation and what happens when we adjust, it becomes increasingly apparent that chiropractic care has the potential to reach far beyond the realms of the musculoskeletal. Many a chiropractor has long believed this, but in a world where research is currency, the evidence bank matters greatly. The latest piece of evidence on the subject of how the […]
September 29, 2017
Neurology

Segmental To Brain Based Thinking – Where Are You And Your Practice At?

Traditionally, chiropractic has been built on a model of segmental subluxation assessment and correction with local impacts and views of possible global affects on the central nervous system and overall health. The structural or biomechanical paradigm of segmental subluxation assessment is not without its challenges. For example, why do assessment findings often poorly correlate with pain and dysfunction? Why are there many patients with damage to musculoskeletal structures but are asymptomatic? Why do some people heal quickly with acute injury, whilst others develop chronic pain and neuromusculoskeletal injury? Finally, why do many patients have persistent sensory abnormalities1-5, like chronic pain, […]
July 11, 2017

Parkinson’s Disease, the Gut and the Vagus Nerve

Parkinson’s Disease is one of those complex syndromes for which a definite cause has not yet been pinpointed. With the average age of diagnosis standing at 65 years, Parkinson’s Disease is a key concern for an aging population. Still, at this point in time, there is very little we know about what causes it. Theories include “genetic changes, environmental factors and oxidative stress or a combination of these [1].” A recent study published in the Journal Neurology brings us a breakthrough in the line of investigation on this debilitating condition and interestingly, it heaps more importance on gut health. The […]
June 29, 2017

Posture, Happiness And The Effect Of Chiropractic

This is the ‘bonus’ article from Spinal Research’s recent interview with Dr Michael Hall. Dr Hall, the man behind the new education program Brain DC, discussed the right to left orientation in brain development. Inside this line of discussion is a little gem – some information on posture, happiness and the effect of chiropractic, and how we can better engage the brain in both. As chiropractors, we frequently analyse posture. We also deal with patients who suffer from low mood or a variety of depressive disorders. But are the two connected? Hall argues that they are. We know that the […]
June 20, 2017

Alzheimer’s Disease and Food: What’s the connection?

Why eat organic? It’s a question many people ask, and perhaps a reasonable one when presented with significant cost differences between seemingly identical food items. A recent study points to a concerning link between neurodegenerative diseases like Alzheimer’s, Parkinson’s and Motor Neurone Diseases, and a protein called TDP-43. What’s the catch? It’s commonly found in our food. Although there is certainly no single causal factor that leads to neurodegenerative diseases, at least not one that research has clearly identified at this time, evidence is starting to point to more possible contributors. Among the main offenders are genetics, environmental stress, and […]
June 20, 2017

Chiropractic and the Teenage Brain

Many a chiropractor deals with practice members right across the life cycle – from the tiniest of patients to octogenarians who are set on maintaining their health all the way. Across this life cycle, some significant changes take place. Many of us are acutely aware that we need to adapt to the changing needs of our practice members as they face different ages and stages. But there is one change that can be all too easily missed – the transition from child to adolescent. According to Dr Jenna Davis, if a chiropractor knows how to respond well in those tedious […]
June 9, 2017

Dr Michael Hall Part 1: Brain Diversity – How The Sexes Differ

Diversity and equality are two buzzwords often heard in conversations about pay, human rights, and more – and for good reason. In many areas, the human race has such a long way to go. But according to Dr Michael Hall, a world-leading chiropractor and functional neurologist, the healthcare industry is one where diversity has not yet been fully acknowledged or catered for. In the majority of healthcare practices, we don’t acknowledge and understand the sexual dimorphism of the human brain, or how this in turn affects stress, physiology, and symptomology. Spinal Research caught up with Dr Hall, friend of the […]
May 25, 2017

Chiropractic Care For Plagiocephaly Cohort Study Released

Plagiocephaly has been called “The most common craniofacial problem today,” by the Royal Children’s Hospital [1].  The disorder is that of a misshapen or asymmetrical head shape often seen in newborns and infants as the thin, flexible bones of their heads are affected by lying on one side more than the other. A newly released cohort study on chiropractic care for the condition has something to say on the issue. Interestingly, the prevalence of Plagiocephaly has increased significantly over the last 20 years, possibly due to the SIDS recommendation for babies to sleep on their backs. Although this recommendation has […]