Research: Short-Term Effect of Chiropractic Spinal Adjustments

Tuesday, June 24th, 2014

This one is short and sweet.

The reason for this research was to determine what the short-term effects of spinal manipulation are on males in regards to pain, spinal mobility or range of motion, and height recovery in the instance of degenerative disc disease following high-velocity, low-amplitude spinal manipulation in the low back/sacral region at L5/S1.

This research was performed in a University-based physical therapy, clinical setting and was a RANDOMIZED CONTROLLED DOUBLE BLIND trial performed by Vieira-Pellenz F, et al.

How They Did It:

The Gold Standard of research applied here. It was randomized, controlled, and double blind starting with a baseline reading then measuring the results post-treatment.

There were forty male participants that had received the diagnosis of degenerative lumbar disc disease. This was a qualification for inclusion in the study. There was a control group and a treating group. The treatment group received a single L5/S1 adjustment. The control group receive “sham” treatment that the researchers knew would have no effect for the better or worse.


  • The patient’s height was measured using a stadiometer.
  • There was also a measurement of perceived low back discomfort with was measured via the visual analogue scale (VAS). 
  • The neural mechanosensitivity was measured via the Straight Leg Test (SLR).
  • The amount of spinal mobility was measured in flexion using the finger to the floor distance test (FFD).

What Did They Find?

There was a significant amount of improvement in all aspects of the Treatment Group while there were no changes at all in the Control Group except for a minimal improvement in the FFD (p=0.008).

What Did The Researchers Conclude?

Chiropractic spinal manipulation in the lower back region, when performed on males with degenerative disc disease, show immediate and significant improvement of perceived back pain (VAS), spinal mobility in flexion (FFD), hip flexion (SLR), and height (stadiometer).

The abstract can be found here.

Just another reason to call your local chiropractor and make an appointment.

Research and clinical experience shows that, in about 80%-90% of headaches, neck, and back pain, in comparison to the traditional medical model, patients get good or excellent results with Chiropractic . Chiropractic care is safe, more cost-effective, it decreases your chances of having surgery, and it reduces your chances of becoming disabled.  We do this conservatively and non-surgically. In addition, we can do it with minimal time requirements and minimal hassle on the part of the patient. And, if the patient develops a “preventative” mindset going forward from initial recovery, we can likely keep it that way while raising your general, overall level of health!  

Please feel free to leave a comment and tell me your thoughts. I’d love to hear what you think.

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Till next time……

The Amarillo Chiropractor Blog is written by Dr. Jeff Williams.

Amarillo TX Amarillo Pain & Accident Chiropractic Clinic provides customized chiropractic care to the Amarillo, Canyon, Pampa, Happy, White Deer, Dumas, Groom, Conway, Panhandle, Claude, Clarendon, Borger, Tulia, Hereford, Fritch, Bushland, and Vega communities. Visit our main website at for customized Chiropractic in Amarillo TX.

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by Jeff S. Williams, D.C.
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