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Sci Rep. 2019 Feb 25;9(1):2673. doi: 10.1038/s41598-019-39577-5.

The effects of a single session of chiropractic care on strength, cortical drive, and spinal excitability in stroke patients.

Author information

1
Centre for Chiropractic Research, New Zealand College of Chiropractic, Auckland, New Zealand.
2
Health & Rehabilitation Research Institute, Auckland University of Technology, Auckland, New Zealand.
3
SMI, Department of Health Science and Technology, Aalborg University, Aalborg, Denmark.
4
Riphah International University, Islamabad, Pakistan.
5
National University of Science and Technology, Islamabad, Pakistan.
6
University of North Texas Health Science Center, Tylers, Texas, USA.
7
School of Medicine, Koç University, Istanbul, Turkey.
8
Centre for Chiropractic Research, New Zealand College of Chiropractic, Auckland, New Zealand. heidi.haavik@nzchiro.co.nz.

Abstract

The objective of this study was to investigate whether a single session of chiropractic care could increase strength in weak plantar flexor muscles in chronic stroke patients. Maximum voluntary contractions (strength) of the plantar flexors, soleus evoked V-waves (cortical drive), and H-reflexes were recorded in 12 chronic stroke patients, with plantar flexor muscle weakness, using a randomized controlled crossover design. Outcomes were assessed pre and post a chiropractic care intervention and a passive movement control. Repeated measures ANOVA was used to asses within and between group differences. Significance was set at p < 0.05. Following the chiropractic care intervention there was a significant increase in strength (F (1,11) = 14.49, p = 0.002; avg 64.2 ± 77.7%) and V-wave/Mmax ratio (F(1,11) = 9.67, p = 0.009; avg 54.0 ± 65.2%) compared to the control intervention. There was a significant strength decrease of 26.4 ± 15.5% (p = 0.001) after the control intervention. There were no other significant differences. Plantar flexor muscle strength increased in chronic stroke patients after a single session of chiropractic care. An increase in V-wave amplitude combined with no significant changes in H-reflex parameters suggests this increased strength is likely modulated at a supraspinal level. Further research is required to investigate the longer term and potential functional effects of chiropractic care in stroke recovery.

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