The Science Behind The Chiropractic Adjustment

The Science Behind The Chiropractic Adjustment

Dr. Mike explains the physiological effects of a chiropractic adjustment and how it can dramatically improve your health.

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(1) “The spinal cord as organizer of disease processes” Korr IM. J Am Osteopath Assoc. 1976 Sep;76(1):35-45.
(2) “Cerebral metabolic changes in men after chiropractic spinal manipulation” Alternative Therapies Health Medicine 2011 Nov-Dec;17(6):12-7.
(3) Haavik Taylor, H. & Murphy B.A. (2007) “Cervical spine manipulation alters sensorimotor integration: A somatosensory evoked potential study” Journal of Clinical Neurophysiology, 118(2):391-402
(4) “The impact of positive sagittal balance in adult spinal deformity” SPINE 2005 Sep 15;30(18):2024-9
(5) Biedermann H. “Kinematic imbalances due to suboccipital strain in newborns” J. Manual Med (1992) 6:151-156.
(6) J Manipulative Physiol Therapeutics 2007 (May); 30 (4): 263–269
(7) “Atlas vertebra realignment and achievement of arterial pressure goal in hypertensive patients” Journal of Human Hypertension (2007) 21, 347– 352.
(8) “Hyperkyphotic posture predicts mortality in older community dwelling men and women” J Am Geriatr Soc. 2004 Oct;52(10):1662-7.

In the first study, Korr showed that a vertebral subluxation (misalignment) creates a stress that causes an increased tone in the sympathetic nervous system. We now know that an increased sympathetic tone in the nervous system sets off a cascade of autonomic processes as if the body was being attacked. This increased tone leads to what we know to be the “fight or flight” behavior physiology.

The second study clearly demonstrated that the sympathetic tone of the nervous system was inhibited, salivary amylase was decreased (indicating a decrease in fight/ flight physiology), regional brain metabolic changes occurred, and muscle tone & pain intensity decreased following ONE single chiropractic adjustment.

In the 3rd study Drs. Heidi Haavik and Bernadette Murphy clearly show that a cervical spinal adjustment (ON PATIENTS WITH NO PAIN) influences the cortical brain and can create neuroplastic changes in the brain tissue. It was noted that “enhanced active inhibition” of the sympathetic nervous system tone occurred in ALL post-adjustment measurements! The other cool thing it proved was that it clearly wasn’t a placebo effect or just “laying on of hands”. One group was set up for an adjustment but the high velocity low amplitude thrust was not made and this group had NO cortical neuroplastic change.

The other studies I just added because you may find them useful. Enjoy!

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  1. Dr. Michael, Awesome talk! Am proud of the work you are doing and putting it out in the public domain to help the public appreciate the huge value of chiropractic! – Dr. John

  2. I’m so thankful for my father in-law had watched a video like this and said I should watch it after 7 years of migraines $100.00’s of dollars in medication, 6week into Chiropractic treatment they were gone..

  3. Yeah I don’t know how accurate some of the stuff this guy is saying is, I’d feel a lot better going to a physical therapist.

  4. Another great video, thank you so much! I have a chiro adjustment every 2 weeks, i believe its just your basic adjustment? He does some work on my neck. Do I need to ask him specifically to address my neck curve? (Diagnosed with fibromyalgia 18 yrs ago and now determined to reverse it). How often do you suggest adjustments? Thanks again for all this VALUABLE information!!!

  5. Another awesome video. sure would be nice if you and Dr Bergman came to New Orleans…sort of like the cruise concept but land based? I have learned so much from you two. Reading your new book on Kindle right now!

  6. These chiropractors have no respect for any other health professions, they all have their head up their a##es. I worked at a chiropractors and the amount of patients my chiropractor referred to me (a physio) was a lot.

    Plus, who said people massage the muscles worsening FHC? I’d work on anterior muscles and get them to work on the posterior.

    I get chiropractic and that it can be good for the body, but a lot of the time it’s not what people need.

  7. Hey Dr. Michael! I am a fellow chiropractor and am glad to see you discussing anterior head carriage thoroughly. One thing that has really helped me with correcting the curvature, along with adjustments and exercise, is the cervical denneroll.

  8. if the anterior superior illiac spine was poking out of the skin more on one side of the pelvis would that be considered a rotated pelvis? No true leg length discrepancies. All from improper sitting.

  9. Hi Dr Mike, I really enjoy the videos I’ve watched so far uploaded by you & Dr Bergman. Changing peoples’ lives is truly amazing. Do you have any partners in the UK or Europe?

  10. Hi Dr Mike. Thanks for your dedication and energy. Interesting explanation of the lower jaw problem with FHP. After my adjustments my jaw still locks very badly – I have to constantly pull it back in whilst trying to reposition my head on my shoulders. Atlas pain, eye pain and the dizziness (reaction) has not subsided much during two years of treatment, locking the neck as I struggle constantly to regain normal movement. With so much of that time seemingly spent getting worse and not better (despite the pre and post periodic examinations and readings showing degrees of improvement), at what point might it be reasonable to assume that I am stuck with these reactions forever? Am I being too keen by constantly trying to move my neck except for when sleeping?


  12. Hry….I am hoping either you or somebody who is familiar with sciatica will be able to tell me how many adjustments are usually required to correct sciatic pain when seeing a Gonstead practitioner. i am currently seeing the only Gonstead chiropractor in Toronto and am being told that it may take 2-3 adjustments per week for 6-8 weeks before the pain is reduced by 50%.Could you please let me know if this sounds normal. I greatly appreciate it.

  13. Hi Dr Mike ! I love all your information . You and Dr John have complety changed the way this RN thinks about health. I try to tell everyone I meet about you and your informative videos .
    Do you have colleagues on Long island that practice as you do ? If not, my next trip will be to your area for an appointment ! Thank you so much !!

  14. Wow!! I love the explanation and the Tiger’s Analogy. Now I’m more than clear that I want to pursue a career in Chiropractic.
    Thank for the video!!

  15. can a herniated disc heal if it’s been a year with pain down left leg and can’t touch my toes….I have appointment this month in your office

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