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Chiropractic Care Can Improve Brain Function

We are very excited to announce that another Spinal Research Foundation facilitated research has been published in a highly reputable journal [1].frontal-lobes

This study was conducted in an independent medical professor’s lab, where his bioengineer collected and analyzed the data. This is an important bonus for this study – that all data was collected and analysed by scientists from Aalborg University Hospital in Denmark, who had no preconceived ideas about chiropractic.

A Vitally Important Implication

More than just confirming once again that adjusting the spine has an effect on the brain, this study indicates that adjustments impact the function of the prefrontal cortex. Dr. Haavik, lead author in the study, is excited about the implications of the research.

The research shows that when we adjust the spine, we significantly increase activity in the prefrontal cortex, “by almost 20% on average.” The prefrontal cortex is the area in the brain where higher learning and cognition happens. 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 variety of changes in the people under their care following adjustments. Along the wide spectrum of claims from those under care are those who say they feel better or focus better and those who notice improvements in movement and coordination.

Haavik and her team are excited about the evidence regarding the location of changes post-adjustment.

“ONE OF THE MOST INTERESTING THINGS ABOUT THE CHANGES WE OBSERVED WAS THAT THE PREFRONTAL CORTEX IS RESPONSIBLE FOR BEHAVIOR, 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.”

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

Every time you get adjusted, you get a HUGE, positive effect on the brain. And improved brain function and conduction is sure to have a positive effect on the body.


[1] Lelic, D, Niazi, IK, Holt, K, Jochumsen, M, Dremstrup, K, Yielder, P, Murphy, B, Drewes, A and Haavik, H (2016), “Manipulation of dysfunctional spinal joints affects sensorimotor integration in the pre-frontal cortex: A brain source localization study,” Neural Plasticity, Volume 2016 (2016).

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