Science In Brief

Chiropractic Literature Review


The Study:   The effects of a single session of spinal manipulation on strength and cortical drive in athletes                  

The Facts:

a. The authors wanted to see if a single session of spinal manipulation would increase strength and cortical drive in the soleus muscle in a group of elite Taekwondo athletes.

b. The study included 11 subjects. The subjects were from the Auckland, New Zealand area and had represented their country in either the World Cup or World Championships in the past year.

c. A chiropractor evaluated the entire spine and applied spinal manipulation as deemed necessary.

d. A control intervention was established where subjects received only passive movements of the head and spine.

e. All of the areas that received manipulation were determined by the chiropractor to have “restricted intersegmental range of motion and tenderness to touch”.

f. The type of manipulation was “high-velocity, low-amplitude (HVLA) joint


g. The authors concluded that the manipulation intervention “increased muscle strength and cortical drive to ankle plantar flexor muscles” when compared to the control (sham) intervention.

h. The authors found an “increased MVC [maximum voluntary contraction] force [which] lasted for 30 min and the cortical drive increase persisted for at least 60 min.”


Take Home:

Muscle strength was increased by a single manipulative session.

Reviewer's Comments:

It appears that in this study that the manipulation increased the ability of the subject to contract the muscle. This is obviously a very limited study but all studies put together help to build a bigger and better picture of the world so I thought you might find it interesting.

Reviewer:  Roger Coleman DC


Editor: Mark R. Payne DC


Reference: Christiansen TL, Niazi IK, Holt K. The effects of a single session of spinal manipulation on strength and cortical drive in athletes. Eur J Appl Physiol  2018 Apr;118(4):737-749. doi: 10.1007/s00421-018-3799-x. Epub 2018 Jan 11.



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