The effects of spinal manipulation go way beyond merely affecting the joints of the spine. Chiropractors have been talking about this since the beginning of the profession as accounts of miraculous healing have been shared over the years. Science and technology are also advancing which is allowing us to come to the realization of how some of these changes come about.
As it turns out manipulating the joints of the spine can have an effect on the strength of voluntary muscles. A study published in the European Journal of Applied Physiology in Jan 2018 looked at the maximum voluntary contraction force of plantar flexors (the muscles that allow you to point your foot downwards) pre and post spinal manipulation in professional athletes. The results of their study showed not only an increase in the strength of the muscles but also increased activity in the areas of the brain associated with that muscle group. From their conclusion, ”A single session of SM increased muscle strength and corticospinal excitability to ankle plantar flexor muscles in elite Taekwondo athletes. The increased MVC force lasted for 30 min and the corticospinal excitability increase persisted for at least 60 min.” (1)
Another group of scientists took this information a step further and then looked at how spinal manipulation could affect jaw strength. A study published in May 2018 in the Journal of Brain Sciences showed that chiropractic spinal manipulation increased maximum bite force immediately after the intervention and the increase in bite force remained at 1-week follow-up. This is the first study to show that a single session of chiropractic spinal manipulation can increase jaw bite strength compared to a sham intervention.” (2)
If you are reading this and you are looking for ways to improve your overall performance and well-being then perhaps it is time to consider adding chiropractic to your routine. If you are someone who already utilizes chiropractic care then the next time you visit your chiropractor realize more maybe happening to your physiology than just decreasing muscle tension and pain.