Research Shows Spinal Dysfunction Affects Reaction Times and Performance

A research project published in the September 2005 issue of the peer reviewed scientific journal, The Journal of Manipulative and Physiological Therapeutics, JMPT, showed that “Spinal Dysfunction” (more commonly known as subluxation in chiropractic) is related to slower and/or less accurate reaction times and therefore to cognitive function.

The double-blind, randomized, study was performed on thirty volunteers who had evidence of what the researchers called “cervical spinal joint dysfunction”. Researchers at the New Zealand Chiropractic College examined the volunteers to determine areas of spinal dysfunction. It was then noted how many areas of spinal dysfunctions were found on each subject and this information was compared to the results of the reaction times testing done later.

A range of computer-based tasks were then performed by the volunteers in order to determine various types of reaction time. The reaction times of the volunteers was then compared to their number of areas of spinal dysfunctions to see if there was any relationship.

The results showed that there was a connection between the number of areas of spinal dysfunction and certain types of reaction times. Researchers noted that the types of reaction times affected by multiple areas of spinal dysfunction were therefore related to impaired cortical processing and significantly less accurate response selection. In fact, they found that the more areas of spinal dysfunction, the more it affected reaction times.

The researchers concluded that certain types of reactions times could be good indicators of the effects of “cervical manipulations” (adjustments) in people with spinal dysfunctions, (subluxations). The ramifications of this study could not only affect general health, but could offer great benefits for athletes.

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