Millions of dollars are spent every year on discovering ways to help people improve strength, balance, and coordination. Not only are these functions important for athletes trying to maximize performance, they are critical to help mitigate the damage of falls as more and more aging adults fall victim to the deadly risks of coordination and balance injuries. Strength, coordination, and balance are necessary to prevent such injuries. This research showed that just one chiropractic adjustment remarkably improved muscle strength and reduced muscle fatigue. This study specifically proved that the adjustment increased the electrical activity from the brain to the muscle while reducing fatigue within that same muscle. Findings were as follows:
- This study investigates whether a spinal adjustment leads to neural plastic changes involving cortical drive and the H-reflex pathway.
- Soleus muscle evoked V-wave, H-reflex, and M-wave recruitment curves and maximum voluntary contraction (MVC) in surface electromyography (SEMG) signals of the plantar flexors were recorded from ten subjects before and after the adjustment or control intervention.
- Spinal manipulation resulted in increased MVC and force, increased V/M max ratio, and reduced H-reflex threshold.
- Following the control intervention, there was a decrease in MVC, decreased V/M max ratio, and a decrease in the median frequency of the SEMG during MVC.
- The improvements in MVC following spinal adjustment are likely attributed to increased descending drive and/or modulation in afferents.
- The spinal adjustment appears to prevent fatigue developed during maximal contractions.
- The spinal adjustment appears to alter the net excitability of the low-threshold motor units, increase cortical drive, and prevent fatigue.
- Findings noted an increase in muscle electrical activity readings of almost 60% and a 16% increase in absolute force measures.
- There was also a 45% increase in the ‘drive’ from the brain to the muscle (the degree to which the brain can activate that particular muscle) and a small, but significant, shift in the H reflex curve (a neurophysiological measure of spinal cord excitability).The Costly Risks and Dangers of Falls:
- One out of five falls causes a serious injury such as broken bones or a head injury.
- Each year, 3 million older people are treated in emergency departments for fall injuries.
- Each year at least 300,000 older people are hospitalized for hip fractures.
- More than 95% of hip fractures are caused by falling, usually by falling sideways.
- Falls are the most common cause of traumatic brain injuries
- In 2015, the total medical costs for falls totaled more than $50 billion.
In the study, there was a 45% increase in the ‘drive’ from the brain to the muscle. Simply said, the degree and efficiency it took for the brain to activate particular muscles improved dramatically. This provides evidence as to why every aging adult deserves to understand and have access to regular chiropractic care. Because falls are one of the leading causes of death in elderly, chiropractic adjustments could truly save a life!