OBJECTIVE: The purpose of this study was to investigate whether manipulation of the cervical spine can influence blood flow in the brain.
METHODS: Single photon emission computed tomography was used to examine changes in regional cerebral blood flow caused by cervical spine manipulation (CSM) performed by a physiotherapist to 15 volunteers, using a 1-day split-dose Technetium 99m-ethyl cysteinate dimer single photon emission computed tomography activation paradigm.
RESULTS: One brain region was identified showing a decreased regional cerebral blood flow after manipulation. This region was situated in the anterior lobe of the left cerebellum (-42, -48, -24).
CONCLUSIONS: These findings suggest that cerebellar hypoperfusion may occur after CSM. This could explain why certain people experience headache, dizziness, or nausea after CSM. Further investigation into patient symptoms in the presence of cerebellar hypoperfusion and the possible link of these findings with other adverse reactions are warranted.
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