Research: You Should Know This About Overall Stiffness

Thursday, February 4th, 2016

Why They Did It

Throughout the years, there have been several studies on spinal manipulative treatment. However, none have specifically addressed its effectiveness for stiffness. This particular paper aimed to evaluate spinal stiffness in patients having lower back pain and their results following spinal manipulative therapy.

How They Did It

  • Patients with lower back pain had two adjustments in one week.
  • Outcome assessment was based on the Oswestry Disability Index.
  • They evaluated spinal stiffness using ultrasonic measures and mechanized indentation measures.
  • The measurements were taken before and after each adjustment as well as a week following the last treatment.

What They Found

  • There was a quick and significant decrease in stiffness overall as well as terminal stiffness.
  • The decrease in stiffness was noted after the adjustment.
  • The improvement of the outcome assessment testing was due to the significant decrease in stiffness.

Wrap It Up

The researchers found significant correlation with immediate and post-adjustment stiffness decrease and ultimate outcome assessment. The results seem to point to a relationship between changes in stiffness and outcomes through the use of spinal adjustments that aren’t seen without the adjustment.

This study was supported by the National Institutes of Health
Fritz J, et. al. “Preliminary investigation of the mechanisms underlying the effects of manipulation: exploration of a multi-variate model including spinal stiffness, multifidus recruitment, and clinical findings”. Spine (Phila Pa 1976). 2011 Oct 1; 36(21): 1772–1781.