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  • Jones Chiropractic

Adjustments Improve Strength

Do you work out at the gym, pumping iron to get stronger? If you do you may be fascinated to know about this recent study conducted in New Zealand, because the way your spine works actually influences how strong you are.

The way your spine works actually influences how strong you are

Research Study

What the student found was that the those who received chiropractic care were actually able to produce 16% more force in their leg muscles after the chiropractor had gently checked and adjusted any dysfunctional spinal segments.


Video Transcript

Do you work out at the gym, pumping iron to get stronger? If you do you may be fascinated to know about this recent study conducted in New Zealand, because the way your spine works actually influences how strong you are.


In 2014 a group of researchers at the Centre for Chiropractic Research in Auckland, New Zealand studied the effects of chiropractic care on a group of students.1 They measured how strong some of the lower leg muscles were in these students, and they also tested how strong the ‘contraction messages’ from their brains were to their leg muscles before and after a single session of chiropractic care, as well as before and after a control session.


What they found was that the students who received chiropractic care were actually able to produce 16% more force in their leg muscle after the chiropractor had gently checked and adjusted any dysfunctional spinal segments, or what chiropractors call vertebral subluxations.


In contrast the students in the control group that did not get the chiropractic spinal adjustments were weaker after the control intervention. This is because their leg muscles were getting tired or fatigued from having to repeatedly contract during the testing session.


This is really interesting, because both groups of students had to repeatedly contract their leg muscles over and over again, but when the students received chiropractic adjustments their leg muscles did not fatigue and instead they were actually able to produce more force.


This study shows clearly that spine and nervous system function actually impacts the way your brain is able to produce force, and can prevent your muscles from fatiguing during repeated strong muscle contractions.


And it gets even more exciting. Because it turns out the NZ based scientists had used the same methods and techniques as another group who looked at what changed within the brain and central nervous system when people either underwent 3 weeks of endurance training or 3 weeks of strength training.2


The NZ groups results after a single session of chiropractic care was just about identical to what this other group of researchers found in their subjects that had done 3 weeks of strength training. This suggests that your spines function can have a profound effect on the way your brain can produce strength in your muscles.


The same NZ group followed up this study in elite Tae Kwon Do athletes, and again showed that even in a group of elite, highly trained athletes, a single session of chiropractic care can improve their strength and prevent fatigue.3


A lot more research needs to be done, because we do not yet know how much longer these strength changes last but these studies highlight that spinal function has a far greater impact on our health and performance than we previously realized.


Video References

  1. Niazi IK, Turker KS, Flavel S, et al. Changes in H-reflex and V-waves following spinal manipulation. Exp Brain Res 2015.

  2. Vila-Cha C, Falla D, Correia MV, et al. Changes in H reflex and V wave following short-term endurance and strength training. Journal of applied physiology (Bethesda, Md : 1985) 2012;112(1):54-63.

  3. Christiansen TL, Niazi IK, Holt K, Nedergaard RW, Duehr J, Allen K, Marshall P, Türker KS, Hartvigsen J, Haavik H. The effects of a single session of spinal manipulation on strength and cortical drive in athletes. European journal of applied physiology. 2018 Apr 1;118(4):737-49.

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