A study published on February 25, 2019, in Nature’s Scientific Reports, showed that even a single chiropractic adjustment showed an increase in strength in stoke victims. According to the researchers, “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.”
Plantar flexion occurs when you point your toes such as when standing on your toes. Researchers can measure plantar flexion by measuring the V-waves and H-reflexes of the soleus muscle. The soleus muscle is more commonly known as the calf muscle and is the powerful muscle at the back of your lower leg. In many stroke victims, these muscles are affected making walking and daily activity very difficult. Any procedure or therapy that can help to strengthen these muscle will dramatically improve the quality of life of a stroke victim.
The study begins by pointing out the impact that stoke has on our society. The authors note, “Stroke is one of the leading causes of death and disability in the world. It is estimated that 17 million people per year suffer from a significant stroke worldwide, with 5 million of those people experiencing long term physical disability following the stroke.” They continued, “Stroke often results in prolonged physical, emotional, social and financial consequences for stroke survivors, family, friends, and caregivers.”
The study was conducted at Railway General Hospital in Rawalpindi, Pakistan. Railway General Hospital is a teaching hospital run by Riphah International University, Islamabad, Pakistan. The data was collected and tabulated by a team of researchers from the Centre for Chiropractic Research at the New Zealand College of Chiropractic.
In this study, 12 chronic stroke patients were tested for soleus muscle activity by measuring their V-waves and H-reflexes. All 12 of the participants were initially tested for their V-waves and H-reflexes of their soleus muscles. The participants were then separated into two groups. One group would receive a single chiropractic adjustment to an area where a subluxation was determined to be present. The other group got a controlled passive movement intervention. A follow-up measurement was taken immediately after the chiropractic adjustment and the controlled procedure. Another follow-up measurement was take on all subjects seven days later after all participants had received the controlled passive movement.
The group that received a single chiropractic adjustment showed an average improvement in the testing of 64% compared to the group that only got the controlled procedure. The researchers stated, “The key findings in this study were that in a group of chronic stroke patients, with lower limb muscle weakness, plantarflexion muscle strength increased on average by 64.2% following a chiropractic care session.” They concluded, “Plantar flexor muscle strength increased in chronic stroke patients after a single session of chiropractic care.”