Blog, Chiropractic Research May 25, 2020

Effectiveness of Chiropractic Care to Improve Sensorimotor Function

Effectiveness of Chiropractic Care to Improve Sensorimotor Function Associated With Falls Risk in Older People: A Randomized Controlled Trial

Content: A ChiroSecure Research Update

This study assessed whether 12 weeks of chiropractic care was effective in improving sensorimotor function associated with fall risk, compared with no intervention, in community-dwelling older adults living in Auckland, New Zealand.

Sixty community-dwelling adults older than 65 years were enrolled in the study. Outcome measures were assessed at baseline, 4 weeks, and 12 weeks and included proprioception (ankle joint position sense), postural stability (static posturography), sensorimotor function (choice stepping reaction time), multi-sensory integration (sound-induced flash illusion), and health-related quality of life (SF-36).

The key findings in this study were that improvements were observed in the chiropractic group in joint position sense error, sound-induced flash illusion, and CSRT compared with the control group. Between-group differences were also observed in the physical component of health-related quality of life, with the chiropractic group improving compared with the control group between the 4- and 12-week assessments

The results of this trial indicated that aspects of sensorimotor integration and multi-sensory integration associated with fall risk improved in a group of community-dwelling older adults receiving chiropractic care. The chiropractic group also displayed small, statistically significant improvements in health-related quality of life related to physical health when compared with a “usual care” control.

These results support previous research which suggests that chiropractic care may alter somatosensory processing and sensorimotor integration. However, limitations of the trial design mean that no firm conclusions can be made about potential mechanisms of action associated with the improvements that were observed.

Kelly R. Holt, BSc (Chiro), Heidi Haavik, BSc (Chiro), PhD,
Arier Chi Lun Lee, PhD, Bernadette Murphy, DC, PhD, C. Raina Elley, MBChB, PhD. J Manipulative Physiol Ther. 2016 (May);   (39) 4:  267–278.