By Dr. Trish Leigh, Ph.D., BCN, Certified Brain Health Coach
A study published in the Journal of Neural Plasticity shows that chiropractic adjustments improve brain function significantly. When I say “significantly”, that means that brain performance improved by more than 20%. Specifically, activity was found to be improved in the prefrontal cortex. This area is most well known to control higher learning and cognition as well as socialization, and sensorimotor control.
Skilled Chiropractors have long observed a wide variety of changes in their patients following spinal adjustments. People consistently report that they feel better and more focused after being adjusted. Now that improvement has been measured scientifically.
Chiropractic Adjustments Improve Thinking, Attention, and Behavior
One of the most interesting findings of the study is the impact of spinal changes on the prefrontal cortex. This is because it 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. Improving the spine can have a big impact on how a person functions in their life.
Improvement of Sensory & Motor Function Seen
In addition to thinking, the prefrontal cortex is responsible for important control mechanisms that manage sensation and movement, and coordination. This includes joint position and the ability to feel where your body is positioned in space.
The positive impact of spinal adjustments on the function of the prefrontal cortex could also explain many previous research results. Studies have found improvements in sensorimotor function relevant to preventing falls. Following a spinal adjustment, participants had improved joint-position sense in both the upper limb and the lower limb, muscle strength in lower limb muscles, pelvic floor control, and ability to carry out mental rotation of objects.
Researcher and co-author of the study Heidi Haavik states, “This is solid scientific evidence that adjusting the spine changes the way the prefrontal cortex of the brain is processing information,” She continues, “It demonstrates that spinal function impacts brain function.”
How Do Chiropractic Adjustments Improve Brain Function?
The study describes that first dysfunctional segments in the spine were identified by a skilled Chiropractor. The doctor was chosen due to advanced skills and many years in practice. This Chiropractor assessed dysfunction by palpating for tenderness of the relevant joints and assessing intersegmental range of motion, asymmetric muscle tension, and joint function. This is the standard assessment before a chiropractic adjustment. Based on the assessment, the doctor delivers the adjustment gently as the bones of the spine are easily moved back into proper place.
Many brain performance benefits are noted when chiropractors use this technique. Dr. Cosmas Leigh has been a leading Chiropractor in the area for over 25 years. He has top-level skills that help patients feel and perform better. Improvements in brain performance can help a person stay healthier longer across their lifetime too.