Archive for category Research


This study examined the effects of chiropractic adjustments of the thoracic spine (T1-T5) on blood pressure and state anxiety in 21 patients with elevated blood pressure. Subjects were randomly assigned to one of three treatment conditions: active treatment, placebo treatment, or no treatment control. The adjustments were performed by a mechanical chiropractic adjusting device. Dependent measures obtained pre- and post-treatment included systolic and diastolic blood pressure, and state anxiety. Results indicated that systolic and diastolic blood pressure decreased significantly in the active treatment condition, whereas no significant changes occurred in the placebo and control conditions. State anxiety significantly decreased in the active and control conditions. Results provide support for the hypothesis that blood pressure is reduced following chiropractic treatment. Further study is needed to examine the long-term effects of chiropractic treatment on blood pressure.

J Manipulative Physiol Ther. 1988 Dec;11(6):484-8. [PMID:3075649]

Author information: Yates RG, Lamping DL, Abram NL, Wright C. Canadian Memorial Chiropractic College, Toronto, Ontario, Canada.

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The Derifield-Thompson test for leg length inequality (LLI) is commonly used by chiropractors to assess a need for adjustment and to evaluate the results of adjustment. The two previous studies testing the reliability of the technique reported conflicting results. This study had two objectives: to demonstrate inter- and intraobserver reliability in detecting a LLI as little as 3 mm; and to document what effect Pierce-Stillwagon cervical adjusting has on a functional LLI. Twenty-six subjects walked into five successive examining rooms where a Derifield leg check was performed, including an estimate of the millimeters of difference in leg lengths. The subjects then entered a treatment room where they were randomly given no treatment, cervical adjusting, or gluteal massage. This process continued for 5 cycles. This study demonstrated that clinicians could reliably measure a LLI to less than 3 mm (both inter- and intraobserver), and also detect a change in LLI when the head was rotated. Neither cervical adjustment nor gluteal massage produced a significant change in observed LLI.

J Manipulative Physiol Ther. 1988 Oct;11(5):396-9. [PMID:3235927]

Author information: Shambaugh P, Sclafani L, Fanselow D. New York Chiropractic College Research Division, Glen Head , NY 11545.

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The influence of afferent articular and periarticular input on muscle tone, joint mobility, proprioception and pain is of considerable interest to practitioners using manipulation. It has long been hypothesized that dysfunctional articulations may generate altered patterns of afferent input. This article reviews the relevant studies that have investigated the impact of articular input on efferent activity under normal conditions and under conditions of altered joint function. The findings suggest that sensory input does have a substantial effect on efferent function and sensation. Furthermore, the studies indicate that the pattern of articular input may be significantly modified by joint inflammation, trauma and effusion and result in changes of muscle tone, joint mobility, proprioception and pain.

J Manipulative Physiol Ther. 1988 Oct;11(5):400-8. [PMID:3069947]

Author information: Slosberg M. Research Department, Life Chiropractic College-West, San Lorenzo, CA 94580.

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A model is proposed for the evaluation of the procedures and practices taught within a chiropractic curriculum. Questions concerning definitions, methods of observation, science consistency, and pertinent research are asked of a given procedure in the form of a decision-making flow chart. Based on this analysis, a status is assigned that establishes a procedure’s current understanding. Applications of the model are discussed.

J Manipulative Physiol Ther. 1987 Apr;10(2):61-4. [PMID:3585198]

Author information: Kaminski M, Boal R, Gillette RG, Peterson DH, Villnave TJ.

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The accuracy and reproducibility of an electronic system to measure the displacement of a spring-loaded chiropractic adjusting instrument was examined. The electronic system included a piezoelectric force transducer, piezoelectric accelerometer transducers and a digital oscilloscope. Accuracy was studied by comparing electronic measurements with the expansion allowed by the mechanically limiting expansion-control knob of the instrument. The results suggested improvements for future accuracy verification checks and detected accuracy within about 10% of the expansion of the commonly used expansion-control-knob revolutions. Preliminary experiments are presented to show application of the system to studies on thrusts into the spine. The impedance-head-equipped spring-loaded Activator chiropractic adjusting instrument had a low velocity when used on the patient and appeared to cause bone movement and a measurable EMG response.

J Manipulative Physiol Ther. 1986 Mar;9(1):15-21. [PMID: 3701223]

Author information: Fuhr AW, Smith DB. Activator Methods, Inc. Phoenix, AZ.

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The Activator® Adjusting Instrument is a hand-held device which can produce adjusting force. Four activator adjusting instruments were used to introduce a force into a measuring system. Surprisingly, the force decreased linearly after two or three revolutions of the adjustment knob. The adjustment knob allows greater anvil movement when the activator adjusting instrument produces a force. A model based on the physical mechanics of the Activator adjusting instrument was able to explain 88 percent of the force variation. Similar data was available from meric and DNFT adjusting so they were compared with the Activator adjusting instrument. The fixed energy of the activator adjusting instrument lead us to the hypothesis that significant movement of bone may not be necessary for the healing process to take place.

Dig Chiropr Econ 1984 (DEC); 27 (3): 17-19.

Author information: Duell ML.

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The phenomenon of “short leg” has long been used and debated clinically. A uniquely chiropractic measurement technique was not studied in any of the few studies of reliability of measurement which have been reported. An inter- and intra-examiner reliability study was therefore performed to validate a prone leg length-differential test. Naive students (n = 40) were called, in random order, into three adjacent examining rooms where three experienced chiropractic clinicians measured differential leg lengths. Using standard placement a tape measure was read to the nearest mm to detect inequalities at the shoe-sole interface. The leg length differences were recorded, for both the straight and flexed legs prone positions, twice by each of the three clinicians. Intraclass correlations were significant for the two independent readings for all three examiners, indicating high reliability of the test. Good agreement among examiners was indicated as well by significant intraclass correlation in two of the three possible examiner combinations. These results argue strongly for the reality of the leg length inequality phenomenon and also that it can be reliably measured.

J Manipulative Physiol Ther. 1983 Jun;6(2):61-6. [PMID: 6619669]

Author information: DeBoer KF, Harmon RO Jr, Savoie S, Tuttle CD.

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As I start to put pen to paper so to speak, I  cannot help but reflect on the chain of events which brought me to this crucial momentous period in my life where something I am about to write  will actually be published (hopefully).

Rest assured that I have never in the past, nor will ever in  the future, delude myself with the Idea that I am an author, even if I  use the term in the loosest meaning of the word, however there are  things which I have learned in my eight years of practice plus some techniques which evolved from a blending together of various techniques  and knowledge that the time has come to at least share some of this  knowledge with those of you who are receptive to new Ideas.

Early in December, 1981. Dr. Peter Bull, our devoted editor, and myself traveled to North Queensland to give a seminar based on X-Ray  Diagnosis, Sacro-Occipital Technique (S.O.T.) and a composite of  X-Ray/S.O.T. Diagnosis featuring a Central Gravity Line superimposed on  X-Ray films. Peter put the films together from category 1, 2 and 3  standing analysis criteria which I supplied. The first time that I saw  the films was during our composite presentation. Peter showed the films, I then gave a diagnosis using S.O.T. criteria and the adjustment required. The result was 99% accurate which not only pleased the seminar participants, but validate S.O.T. category analysis and impressed an  otherwise pessimistic Editor. And in the words of the Good Book “it came  to pass” that on the flight home, Peter asked me to do I series of  articles on my approach to S.O.T., especially the two versions of a  category 2 or sacroiliac problems.

Time however has not permitted that article to take shape, but  during the social of 13th February, I mentioned my technique for Torticollis to Lindsay Collins and Peter Bull and after a few more glasses of Riesling, I agreed to whip up an article on this particular technique using the Activator.

In future articles, I shall describe the whole approach of  S.O.T. including the two Category 2′s, where sacral balancing cranial  fits into the procedures and why the Deerfield Test is not conclusive re  pelvic/cervical analysis.

The activator technique for Torticollis is actually a  combination of the Dr.’s Fuhr and Lee Activator system and an Atlas analysis of the Sacro-Occipital Technique.

As you are all aware, or you should be, and rest assured if you  are not you will be before long, the acute Torticollis is not an easily  handled patient, the pain and muscle guarding make it almost if not  totally impossible to adjust the patient manually and while some  traction techniques are helpful, nothing can compare with the ease of  correction that the Activator can achieve with very little effort on the  part of the practitioner and absolutely no distress or discomfort to  the patient.

I always remember the words of Dr. Fuhr when he visited  Australia in 1974/75 “that the main fault of a chiropractors today is over adjusting.”

Chiropr J Aust. 1982; 2: 13-14.

Author information: Henningham M.

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