The Effects of 4 Weeks of Chiropractic Spinal Adjustments on Motor Function in People with Stroke: A Randomized Controlled Trial
A ChiroSecure Research Update
Abstract: This exploratory study assessed whether 4 weeks of chiropractic spinal adjustments, combined with physical therapy (chiro + PT), had a greater impact than sham chiropractic with physical therapy (sham + PT) did on motor function (Fugl Meyer Assessment, FMA) in 63 subacute or chronic stroke patients.
Discussion: Outcomes were assessed at baseline, 4 weeks (post-intervention), and 8 weeks (follow-up). Data were analyzed using linear mixed-effects models or generalized linear mixed models. A post-hoc responder analysis was performed to investigate the clinical significance of findings. At 4 weeks, there was a larger effect of chiro + PT, compared with sham + PT, on the FMA (difference = 6.1, p = 0.04). The responder analysis suggested the improvements in motor function seen following chiropractic spinal adjustments may have been clinically significant. There was also a robust improvement in both groups in most measures from baseline to the 4- and 8-week assessments, but between-group differences were no longer significant at the 8-week assessment. Four weeks of chiro + PT resulted in statistically significant improvements in motor function, compared with sham + PT, in people with subacute or chronic stroke.
Conclusion: Improvements in motor function were observed when chiropractic care was added to 4 weeks of physical therapy care in people with subacute or chronic stroke. These improvements were statistically significant and a post-hoc responder analysis suggested they were also likely to be clinically significant. Chiropractic spinal adjustments may therefore be beneficial for people with motor impairments associated with subacute or chronic stroke. Further research, involving larger group sizes and longer-term follow-up and intervention periods, is required to corroborate these findings and further investigate the impacts of chiropractic care on motor function in people with stroke.
Reference: Holt K, Niazi IK, Amjad I, Kumari N, Rashid U, Duehr J, et al. The Effects of 4 Weeks of Chiropractic Spinal Adjustments on Motor Function in People with Stroke: A Randomized Controlled Trial. Brain Sci. 2021. 11(6):676. https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC8224305/