A paper recently published by Giles Gyer and colleagues in the Journal of Integrative Medicine reviewed mechanistic studies that demonstrated neural responses following spinal manipulation (peripheral, spinal and supraspinal) to identify neurophysiological effect mechanisms of spinal manipulation. The authors found clear neurophysiological changes like neural plastic changes, alteration in motor neuron excitability, and increase in cortical drive following spinal manipulation. However, the review was limited due to methodological flaws in the original mechanistic studies. The authors, therein, concluded that the clinical relevance of these findings is still unclear. Nonetheless, this review represents an important step into the direction of identifying underlying mechanisms in spinal manipulation while providing us with gathered knowledge about we can use to educate students as well as patients.
Gyer, G., Michael, J., Inklebarger, J., Tedla, J.S., 2019. Spinal manipulation therapy: Is it all about the brain? A current review of the neurophysiological effects of manipulation. Journal of Integrative Medicine, 17(5), 328-337.